Tesco plan for town is ditched

Tesco has ditched plans to build a megastore in Belper, ending years of speculation over the development.

A spokesman confirmed this week that the retail giant was no longer interested in building an 80,000 square foot supermarket off Derwent Street.

The announcement brings to a close around seven years of uncertainty over the development, which would have created around 400 jobs.

However, opponents to the scheme have maintained throughout that the potential knock-on effects for the high street and traffic levels would have been disastrous.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are no longer pursuing a Tesco superstore in Belper and are considering alternative uses for the site.”

The dramatic news over the Belper site comes after Tesco announced this weekthat it no longer plans to develop on more than 100 sites where it has bought land across the UK, as part of a ‘property pipeline’ review.

The store chain announced last year it would reduce new store openings by a third and cut capital expenditure by £500 million in 2013.

A spokesman said: “We have reviewed all of the schemes included in the pipeline individually, assessing their viability and potential to deliver an appropriate level of return on capital employed if built out.

“As a result, we have identified more than 100 sites – the majority of which were bought between five and ten years ago, at a higher point in the property cycle – which we no longer plan to develop and have therefore written their values down.”

Tesco’s Belper proposals were also dealt a huge blow by an extra layer of planning rules approved by Amber Valley Borough Council last year which the store said made it “virtually impossible” to get planning approval.

DPP, acting on behalf of the retail giant, said at the time they could no longer progress with negotiations for a megastore off Derwent Street until council officers changed the restrictions.

The company claimed the authority had come up with a an extra set of planning rules that were “wholly unnecessary” for the area.

A Tesco spokesman added: “Where we have decided against progressing proposals we continue to work with local authorities to find alternative uses for these sites. ”

n What do you think to Tesco pulling out of building a large store in Belper? Email your comments to editor@belpernews.co.uk or write to us at the address on page 2.