Waitrose has successfully applied to build an 18,000ft2 store on Dover Road with 172 car parking spaces, doctors’ surgery and pharmacy – creating 150 jobs.
Then, the importance of Discovery Park to the local economy was underlined when councillors overturned their own Planning Officer’s recommendation to refuse, granting Sainsbury's permission to develop a 30,000ft2 supermarket on the site, bringing with it the prospect of 200 jobs.
It’s understood that councillors from Dover DC argued the development would enable Sandwich residents to shop locally, rather than having to travel to Dover, Canterbury or Ramsgate.
However, local traders have criticised the decision, suggesting it would result in a loss of trade from the town centre in excess of £5.2 million, a trading impact of more than 55 per cent, according to the council’s own research.
The final decision on which of the two approved schemes in Sandwich gets the final green light will be taken by Secretary of State Eric Pickles.
(Ed’s comment: And we all know how much he likes a sandwich).