Mega March Tesco

PUBLISHED: 13:09 03 November 2006 | UPDATED: 22:21 28 May 2010

TESCO has finally won the go-ahead for a massive 70 per cent increase in the size of its March store after agreeing to pay £250,000 to improve public transport to the site. The company will also pay Cambridgeshire County Council £100,000 towards improving

TESCO has finally won the go-ahead for a massive 70 per cent increase in the size of its March store after agreeing to pay £250,000 to improve public transport to the site.

The company will also pay Cambridgeshire County Council £100,000 towards improving the nearby A141 junction at Hostmoor Avenue.

Dozens of new jobs can now be expected at the Hostmoor store on the outskirts of the town as Tesco begins the fight to win back customers it claims are flocking to "more modern" outlets elsewhere.

Tesco says the "leakage of trade" has been serious - up to 18 per cent down on the company average - and it hopes the extra 2,500 square metres proposed for its Hostmoor store will give shoppers wider aisles, more display space, extra checkouts, a new cafe, and improved choice.

The improvements, it claims, will enable "Tesco at March to compete more effectively with the larger Tescos at Peterborough, Wisbech, Ely and Kings Lynn".

The store applied in January 2005 to extend the store and won permission some months later but it has been held up pending completion of legal agreements.

However, with the agreement signed, Tesco is now free to start work when it likes.

The agreement between the store, the county council and Fenland District Council, says the £250,000 for buses will "extend and enhance the existing bus and community transport services that service the site and to keep them extended and enhanced for five years from the date of opening".

There is also a clause stating that if, in a year's time, the bus service is deemed "ineffective or deficient", the county council has the right to make changes.

Tesco insists the newly re-vamped store will "not adversely affect the vitality and viability of any nearby centre, in particular March and Chatteris".

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