D-day for future of
derelict Tesco land

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Tesco bosses are visiting Belper for potentially the last time as plans to sell their huge development site in the town take a step forward.

The supermarket giant will hold further talks with official groups interested in the site off Derwent Street at the town’s high school on Friday, March 14.

Discussions have been taking place between the retailer and Amber Valley Borough Council in recent weeks and it is thought that firms could be close to making offers for the 30-acre site.

In May last year, Tesco ruled out building an 80,000 square foot supermarket off Derwent Street, bringing to a close around seven years of uncertainty over the development. The site, which includes the old derelict Thorntons factory, has become an eyesore and attracts vandals.

During an earlier meeting in the town in January, Tesco bosses revealed part of the site could be turned into a care home, with further plans for housing and a mixed use food and non-food retail development. Now Tesco corporate affairs managers Adam Williams and Mark Thomas are set to return to the town when it is hoped new plans and potentially buyers could be unveiled for the site.

Belper MP Pauline Latham said: “This will be the final meeting. We can’t expect Tesco to keep coming - they are backing out and don’t want the land. We have widened out this meeting to more organisations. Although we cannot make it a public meeting as there isn’t room I’m sure people who can’t attend will be informed by their councillor. Everyone wants the same sort of thing. Hopefully we will know more about the plans for the site - Amber Valley have been talking to developers. I have to pay tribute to Tesco for being very open and honest during the last meeting.

“Tesco have done us a favour by sitting on this land and keeping it together. Now we need to ensure that we get this once in a lifetime opportunity right.”