Tesco draws up plans for town

SUPERMARKET giants Tesco could be submitting a planning application for a store in Belper as early as April it was revealed last week.

Members of the Belper Civic Forum met with agents from Tesco in December and reported their findings to more than 100 residents at St John's Chapel last week.

They said plans for the long-rumoured superstore could be submitted in April but because of their complexity it might not be until the summer.

Forum member Derek Manley said Tesco has already purchased much of the land needed for the project and that the store would be twice the size of Morrisons with a floor area of 80,000 square feet.

There will also be parking for 500 cars and pedestrian access via Derwent Street. It is possible it could be a 24-hour store and although clothing will be for sale Tesco is not expected to include white goods such as fridges.

Mr Manley, said: "They claim it is going to be a very good supermarket the most technically advanced store."

The application would include a relief road for Belper which would become the new A6.

The route would run from Morrison's roundabout through the largely industrial area to the triangle. Traffic calming would be introduced in Bridge Street to encourage the use of the new road.

Mr Manley, said: "The road would be built entirely at Tesco's expense."

Tesco would need to demolish various buildings as part of the development. They include the Methodist Hall, Thornton's

factory, the unused building at the rear of Unity Mill and the cricket pavilion.

The plan would also need to adapt the car parks for Morrisons and Focus, the cricket ground and the town's football ground.

The civic forum reported that the application would include, a new library for the town, a new community hall, new residential and retail developments and sports facilities.

by Debbie Lockett