Are supermarket developers STILL ignoring the Olney Neighbourhood Plan?

    Plans for a new supermarket in Olney, which were withdrawn following a backlash about proposed housing on a site allocated for retail use only, have been re-submitted with the supermarket remaining the same size as proposed when housing was to be included.

    The Olney Neighbourhood Plan, which was approved by Olney residents in a hotly-contested referendum last year, declares that land located on the corner of Lavendon Road and Warrington Road in the town is reserved for retail use.

    But earlier this year, plans for a new supermarket, car park and 26 houses on the land were submitted. The addition of housing was in violation of the Neighbourhood Plan and many residents said they wanted a larger supermarket instead.

    The plans were subjected to a heated debate at Milton Keynes Council's planning committee meeting in April, with councillors including Cllr Andrew Geary and Cllr David Hosking objecting to the inclusion of the proposed housing on the site.

    Following the meeting, the developers promised to remove the housing from the site and re-submit the application for a supermarket only.

    But now, in a snub to residents, they have simply removed the housing from the original application and marked it as 'land for future development'.

    The plans mean that the proposed new supermarket would be the same size as originally proposed when housing was set to be included in the plans.

    A previous plan had a larger supermarket and a petrol station, which together would have used the entire area of land allocated for retail.

    Following the meeting in April, Cllr Andrew Geary said: "Good people of Olney, tonight you should be incredibly proud of your democratically elected representatives in the town. Town Cllr's Tony Evans, Kevin Viney and Chris Tennant, along with Ward Cllr's David Hosking and Peter Geary represented the views of your town and the democratic process that it has been through in producing its Neighbourhood Plan with statesmanlike vigour and passion."

    "The committee debate, managed most ably by your third Cllr Keith McLean was short, and lead to the the application for the 26 houses being withdrawn. Because of the major change to the application it will now need to be resubmitted as a stand alone supermarket application, which the applicants have undertaken to do in the next couple of weeks."

    It is expected that, if permission is granted, the new supermarket on the site will be a Sainsbury's.

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