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Govenment Backs Sainsbury's

Front of Sainsbury's Store in London Colney The Government has backed a bid by Sainsbury's to build a new supermarket in Hartham Lane, following a public enquiry in September 2009.

The plan was controversially agreed by East Herts District Council last year, after councillors went against advice from their own planning officers and warnings from Hertfordshire Highways that the development would lead to serious traffic problems.

However, the proposal to build the store at the site of the old Hertford Brewery was then called in by the government, together with plans for a redeveloped and much-enlarged Tesco in Ware Road.

Since then Tesco have withdrawn their plans and proposed a 25pc expansion of their existing store, which was given the go-ahead by councillors last month.

Opinion remains divided on how the new Sainsbury's will affect the town. Retailers in St.Andrew Street welcome the development, whilst town councillors and the Civic Society are sceptical.

Councillor Peter Ruffles said: "I'd hoped for a different decision and the implication for traffic and transport are grave. An even bigger fear is the damage that might be done to town centre trading as a kock on effect of Sainsbury's taking others' business".

The company's first application for a 33,000 sq.ft store was submitted in January 2008 but later withdrawn after planning officers recommended refusal.

Later proposals featured a smaller store with a sales area 25,000 sq,ft, comparable to Tesco's existing store of 23,936 sq,ft (30,000 sq.ft after expansion). The number of car parking spaces has also been reduced from 268 to 240.

Sainsbury's bought much of the McMullens site in February 2007 after the brewery downsized their operations, now occupying just the south-east corner of the site.

Initially, Sainsbury's staged an exhibition and consultation at The Corn Exchange in June 2007, which saw plans for the store on display and representatives of the company on hand to discuss the proposals with the public.

Have your say and tell us what you think about Sainsbury's coming to Hertford.

See our February 2009 coverage of this issue.

See our September 2008 coverage of this issue.

See our July 2007 coverage of this issue.

Supermarket Expansion
Hertford is set to become a battlefield as two leading supermarkets vie for customers
Hertford Brewery
The Hertford Brewery was the home of McMullens for over 100 years

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