Board members met today with planning consultants from Sainsbury to discuss their proposals for the Military Road - Hythe site bought earlier this year from Smith Medical. .
The board learned that 300 new jobs would be created by the re-development of this 34,000 sq ft shop, with 270 free car parking spaces. The design is more aesthetically pleasing than the existing buildings and we are confident that any design/parking/access issues can be resolved through consultations starting with the community this week.
The Local Household survey conducted for Sainsbury revealed that 63% of Hythe residents currently leave the town to do their main food shop - we believe that having a store such as Sainsbury in the town will help stem the flow of people, increase choice and encourage more people to shop on the high street. In recognition of Hythe's outstanding tourism offer we have encouraged Sainsbury to explore opportunities to boost tourism/social events in the town through the use of a Section 106 arrangement with an example given of a local town hopper bus service.
Too many times in the past Hythe have turned down or opposed opportunities that could have improved the town for the benefit of all. In the current economic environment we cannot afford to say No to these proposals, we need to work with Sainsbury's to get the best possible outcome for our community as a whole - including residents, young people looking for work and independent traders.
We would encourage local businesses and residents to pop along to Hythe town hall on Wednesday and Thursday of this week between 2pm and 8pm to learn more about the proposals.