Tesco still wants to open large store

An artist's impression of how a new Tesco in Belper might look
An artist's impression of how a new Tesco in Belper might look

Tesco has confirmed it is still interested in building a large store in Belper, ending months of speculation over the development.

The supermarket chain has said it would be looking to submit plans for land it owns between the A6 and River Derwent in the town centre.

Previously, campaign group Belper Against Tesco Superstores and town councillor Alan Cox have said the retail giant would have to “scale down” any plans and it may “no longer be interested” in the site.

However, a Tesco spokesman told the Belper News this week: “We still believe it’s a great site for a large supermarket to meet the shopping needs of Belper and we are certainly looking to bring forward plans in the future.

“We believe local residents would welcome the extra investment, jobs and shopping choice locally.”

A deadline for final comments about the site ended on Monday, September 3, when an Amber Valley Borough Council consultation came to an end.

Now, planning chiefs will be looking through the remarks which people have made before a development brief, which lays down the ground rules for the site, is brought back before the council before the end of the year.

Tesco will then be free to submit an application for a store. Any company that does submit plans would have to take account of the existing character of the World Heritage Site.

When Tesco announced its intentions four years ago, an 80,000 sq ft megastore was being proposed.

However, the development brief, which will work in addition to existing planning laws stipulates that smaller retail units are encouraged to “aid regeneration”.

Let us know your views on the Tesco plan for Belper.

Do you think a large store is the right move for the town? Email us at editor@belpernews.co.uk.