A third supermarket plan
is about to be tabled at Sheringham as the long-running store wars saga in the town takes another unexpected twist. The latest scheme, from developer Richard Davies, includes a store on the town's main car park next to the steam railway station, a continental style market, car parking which is partly underground and 54 affordable flats. It comes as Tesco draws up revised plans for its prolonged bid to build a store in the town, and local landowner Clive Hay-Smith recently revealed a rival scheme to provide a “green” supermarket with electric delivery vans and a share of the profits going to a community charity. Mr Davies, the man behind an eco-town plan at the former RAF Coltishall and who wanted to put a Dubai-style sail building in a Cromer clifftop park, said he had originally toyed with his scheme five years ago - and had now decided to lodge the plans, adding: “Everybody else is having a go, so why shouldn't I?”He aims to lodge the plans in the next few weeks, having put them on display in the town to get public feedback.“This is a fantastic scheme which would provide the town with the supermarket it wants, extra car parking, and affordable homes,” he said. “It is elegant and will lift Sheringham.” The scheme puts the 1,400 sq m store on the North Norfolk District-owned car park, along 39 car parking spaces above ground and 150 below. A redeveloped market area would have demountable stalls that would fold into the ground, and street café. But it also features the Cromer road site figuring in Tesco's plans, where there would be another 288 space-car park above and below ground, 54 low cost homes to replace the Lockerbie flats, and coach parking with a turntable to ease access. Mr Davies said the parking and market ideas had come from visits to market towns in Holland and Germany.He realised the land was in the ownership of councils, with Tesco having an option to buy - but he would consider letting the supermarket take it on, adding “If they want to take it from me, it will be my gift.”Sheringham needed a supermarket and the plan could well stir up further controversy to “get things done”. The station site was earlier earmarked for a Budgens store, which won planning permission on appeal, but failed to advance because of a controversial land deal clause between Tesco and the district council over another site, which prevents the council from promoting a rival supermarket on its land. Mr Hay-Smith's green scheme is on the Weybourne Road near the Splash pool, and involves a proposed land swap deal with the town council which would provide more allotments.D istrict council legal manager Emma Duncan said while a supermarket on the car park site was allowable under policy, the Tesco clause meant it was “difficult” for other developers to promote a plan. Even if Tesco released the clause the council would still have to consider whether it wanted to sell the land.