MOST residents of Henley would like a Marks & Spencer store in the town despite the company’s favoured site being rejected in the draft neighbourhood plan.
A survey carried out by a developer found that 80 per cent of respondents backed plans for a Simply Food store on land next to Tesco, off Reading Road.
The telephone survey of more than 400 residents was carried out by Barwood Developments in response to the draft plan, which earmarked the site for homes rather than a retail development. The site, which is owned by the town council, is one of nine identified as suitable for up to 485 new homes to be built by 2027.
The survey showed that just 11 per cent of respondents were opposed to Barwood’s plans and that 62 per cent currently shop for food and drink at M&S stores elsewhere, including Reading, Marlow, High Wycombe and Slough.
Christian Matthews, development director at Barwood, said: “We are hopeful that the clear public support for the M&S store — and the investment that we are able to make in the site with the resultant jobs — means that our proposed development is an attractive proposition for Henley Town Council as it looks to sell the site.”