Tesco store in Whittlesey shelved

Tesco.

Tesco.

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TESCO'S bid for a supermarket in Whittlesey has been shelved, at least for now.

TESCO’S bid for a supermarket in Whittlesey has been shelved, at least for now.

The plan for a Fenland eco-store was ditched after residents and campaigners said it would “destroy the heart of the town”.

Businessmen and councillors were appalled the international conglomerate thought it could come into the Fens and demolish more than a dozen newly-built homes simply to make way for its convenience outlet.

The final nail in the coffin came when transport experts said there would be a “traffic nightmare” if the store had only 52 car park spaces to accommodate hundreds of customers.

Resident Steve Parker, from the town’s Business Forum, said it would have a “serious detrimental effect” on Whittlesey and added: “It would not assist the town centre regeneration at all.”

He believes the multi-national giant should have consulted the people of Whittlesey before trying to bulldoze their way in.

Mr Parker said: “I have no personal axe to grind with Tesco but they should have worked with the town to find out what was wanted and where.”

Members of Fenland District Council’s planning committee were outraged Tesco did not even attend today’s meeting to defend its plans.

The country’s most popular supermarket wanted to demolish 13 two-bedroom bungalows built just five years ago and create on access route through a small cul-de-sac.

People were also horrified Whittlesey could lose its fire station to the plans and asked: “Whilst Tesco state they will create 110 jobs, how many small business people will become employed?”

Meanwhile fears about ‘boy racers’ took hold after police raised concerns about CCTV and lighting, as well as pedestrian safety.

Residents implored councillors not to “bow down to pressure from Tesco” but feared: “What Tesco wants, they always get.”

But Councillor Jan French stood up to the company when she said: “I have never seen an application which looks like it will destroy the heart of the town so much.”

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