Tesco in talks over derelict site

Tesco representatives are set to come to Belper in the New Year to discuss plans for the old Thorntons site, it has been revealed.

Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham contacted the supermarket giant, which owns land at the derelict site on Derwent Street, after concerns were raised.

This week, the Tory MP confirmed she and Transition Belper would meet with the firm early in 2014 to discuss the site, which hit the national headlines in May when arsonists set fire to the old factory.

Tesco had planned to build a superstore there, but earlier this year it dropped the plan, fuelling speculation that another store giant could step in. Both Waitrose and M&S denied rumours they were interested.

Mrs Latham said: “I’m in favour of mixed-use development. I hope that Tesco will work with the people of Belper, so that when they do dispose of the land, Belper residents can get what they want and need from the development, because at the moment the site is a blot on the landscape.”

Adam Williams, Tesco corporate affairs manager, said: “We are currently considering our options for our site in Belper and we are looking forward to hearing the local community’s views on potential alternative uses.”

The meeting is provisionally set for January 10.

In May, Mrs Latham urged organisations to help her realise a vision of creating start-up units for small and new businesses on the site. She said the project would be similar to the £8m scheme to transform the Jackson’s Mill site in Derby.