Poundstretcher clears the final hurdle and can now go ahead with move to mothballed Tesco store at Chatteris

PUBLISHED: 12:22 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:23 11 August 2017

Tesco, Chatteris.

Tesco, Chatteris.

Archant

Budget retailer Poundstretcher has cleared its final hurdle to take up occupancy of half of the mothballed out of town Tesco store at Chatteris.

Tesco, Chatteris. Tesco, Chatteris.

Fenland District Council this week issued its approval notice to allow the split to go ahead and for Poundstretcher – who are currently advertising jobs at the proposed store- to move in.

The application to divide the store was first made last November but has since been subject to extensive consultation and assessment of the impact on local shops if it were to be approved.

One of the main issues to resolve has been that of the amount of space each of the proposed new stores would occupy – in the case of Poundstretcher that has now been sorted.

A planning report compiled by Fenland Council says the Poundstretcher proposals are fully supported by the town council “who are anxious see the empty units filled”.

Tesco won permission for a new store in 2012 and two years later the building was compete.

The store was scheduled to open in January 2015 but it was then the company announced it was pulling out.

The new build supermarket was one of 49 projects called off by Tesco in response to a downturn in its financial fortunes.

It cost £22million and was supposed to create 250 jobs.

Since then agents have tried to sell on the lease and the only other retailer to express interest has been Poundstretcher who only want half the property,

Fenland Council officers say they appointed consultants to examine the likely affect on existing shops and concluded the development “would not result in a significant adverse impact on the viability and vitality of Chatteris town centre”.

Planners concluded “there appears to be no realistic prospect of the building being used for its intended use. The development would therefore bring a currently vacant retail unit into economic use which will create significant employment within Chatteris.”

Jobs were a significant factor in assessing the application they said and there was the added benefit that by offering better shopping locally it may discourage travel and therefore increase numbers using the town centre.

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