A WRANGLE with supermarket giant Sainsbury’s could jeopardise plans for the redevelopment of Carterton town centre.

Carterton Town Council has been working on plans for a supermarket, other shops and new housing on the former market site.

Last month, Sainsbury’s announced plans for a 26,000 sq ft supermarket on an edge-of-town site at the West Oxfordshire Retail and Business Park, in Upavon Way.

But those involved in the Carterton regeneration project say that this would scupper plans for a supermarket in the town centre.

Regeneration company Box Clever, based in Oxford, and Simons Developments – the firm behind Witney’s Marriott’s Close shopping centre – have been working on the scheme.

Box Clever director Brad Andrews said: “If the supermarket is placed elsewhere, there would be no regeneration of the town centre – it’s all or nothing.”

He said he was in talks with all the major supermarket chains about the central site.

Lester Giles, of Giles Sports, in Alvescot Road, a member of Carterton Chamber of Commerce, said: “If Sainsbury’s goes ahead out of the town centre, the centre will just become a big housing estate, as there would be no scope for two retail developments in a place this size.”

Sainsbury’s spokesman Paul Vicary said: “Sainsbury’s is keen to come to Carterton and has explored the possibility of developing a supermarket on the town centre site with its owners. A large part of the site is subject to a restrictive covenant that precludes food retail development. We are therefore bringing forward plans for a new store at the retail and business park.”

The regeneration project is led by Carterton Fast Forward — a group set up by the town council to breathe life into the town.

Project manager Catherine Chater said: “This has been a key priority for a very long time. If you look at the number of shops, it doesn’t reflect what a population of 15,000 needs.”