Thursday, 8 October 2015

Sainsbury's pulls the plug - updated

Update 19th October; The 'no financial implications for the council' claim is looking even more doubtful if this quote from the chief executive in 2012 still stands. During the row over the Sainsbury's call-in request, referred to below, he said that if it did not go ahead the council would have to find 'very substantial extra funds'.


The news this week that Sainsbury's has pulled out of the Cross Hands West development will be a major embarrassment to the council as well as a blow to local people. Sainsbury's have sold the site to an investment company who hope to market the 10 acres for 'mixed retail' once new planning permission has been sought. It could be a very long process..

Back in June when Sainsbury's plans began to look very doubtful the council made reassuring noises that even if the supermarket pulled out, this would not affect the other developments, which included 250 homes, a health centre, a residential care home, and improvements to the adjacent secondary school on the rest of the 56 acre site.

You may recall, back in 2012 that the then Labour leader, Kevin Madge trumpeted the whole development as a massive economic injection which would create thousands of jobs, and key to the plan was the arrival of Sainsbury's. I suspect the words 'iconic' and 'flagship' were also used.

A heated row (much documented on this blog) then erupted over a vitriolic council press release issued by Kevin Madge (and, it later transpired, 'signed-off' by the chief executive) attacking local Plaid politicians. The press release accused them of 'sabotaging' these other developments by asking the Welsh Government to call-in the Sainsbury's planning application.
Their concerns actually related to another planned store in Llandeilo. Kevin Madge was reported to the Ombudsman.

So this week, despite denying that there are any the financial implications for the council over the withdrawal of Sainsbury's, it remains to be seen how that one will pan out given Mr Madge's previous comments...and whether, several months down the line, a mysterious and unexplained 'additional funding requirement' to cover extra costs appears, buried within a report.

This week's news comes hot on the heels of the extra £1.1m now required for Cross Hands East, as well as the report from the Wales Audit Office over those EU property grants, currently simmering away in County Hall.

Road to nowhere; Cross Hands West

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

" I suspect the words 'iconic' and 'flagship' were also used."
You forgot masterplan.