Tesco expansion gets green-light

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco has been given the green light to expand its Skegness store, providing 75 new jobs and a wider range of goods for sale.

The planning application to increase the store’s floor space by almost a third of its current size was approved by East Lindsey District Council at a meeting on Friday.

Tesco corporate affairs manager Louise Gosling said: “We are extremely pleased that the plans have been approved and we look forward to delivering a bigger and better store for our customers and staff.

“The extension will help us attract people from a wider area and allow shoppers to enjoy a better choice and a larger range of goods.

“It will also significantly boost the local economy by creating up to 75 new jobs.”

Previous concerns had been raised by Skegness Town Council and the business community regarding the detrimental impact the expansion could have on the vitality of the town centre.

The district council’s decision had been deferred on two previous occasions to enable these factors to be given further consideration.

Although ELDC was satisfied that the application would not pose a significant risk, chairman of Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce, Glenis Brown remains unconvinced. She said: “I think overall it is a bad thing for Skegness - it is going to detract from the town centre because Tesco will sell everything that traders in the town are trying to sell.”

To mitigate against the perceived negative impact, the store is required to contribute £150,000 through a section 106 Agreement towards improving public areas in the town centre and links between the store and the centre of town.

ELDC will make the final decision on how this money will be spent after consultation with Skegness Town Council.

Previous aspirations raised by town councillors included additional toilet facilities and improvements to the adjacent coach park, which the expansion will be encroaching into.

Although ELDC dismissed these possibilities Skegness Mayor, Steve Kirk, is hopeful that the town council will be able to raise suggestions that figure in the final decision.

He said: “I’m hoping ELDC will come to talk with us in the near future because we would like the opportunity to raise some ideas of particular importance to the town centre. My personal aspiration is for it to be used for the pavilion in Tower Gardens.”