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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Tesco rethink after west Cumbria store plan rejected

Tesco bosses are deciding on their next steps after plans for a new store in west Cumbria were thrown out

Copeland’s planning panel refused an application to build an express store in Egremont, brining 20 new jobs to the town.

Options include appealing the panel’s decision, resubmitting an application, or walking away from the scheme.

Tesco spokesman Mark Thomas told the News & Star: “We’re disappointed by the panel’s decision but respect their judgement.

“We’d love to open a store, provide great shopping choice and create new jobs off North Road in Egremont. We’ll look at the options available to us before deciding our next steps.”

A major reason for the council’s refusal was the potential impact on the town centre due to the proposed site being deemed ‘out of centre’.

Tesco wants to build the store on the former chocolate factory site at the junction of North Road and East Road.

Egremont town council had not objected to the scheme but had stated that the development could take shoppers away from the town’s Main Street.

Another consideration in Copeland’s decision was that the site is not well connected to the town centre and is separated from it by two roads including the busy A595/Egremont bypass.

Six letters of objection were lodged by nearby households, with concerns including pedestrian safety, parking, and an unacceptable increase in traffic.

Egremont Assets’ proposals for the site, which has been vacant for more than 25 years, included two single-storey buildings for retail purposes.

One would be used for a general convenience store, with the other split into three smaller units.

The plans also included a 31-space car park and delivery vehicle parking area.

Copeland’s planning officer, John Groves, said it was the council’s view that there was an “alternative site” for the development at Chapel Street, which is behind Main Street and partly in the town centre boundary.

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