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AXMINSTER: Tesco drop plans to extend their Axminster store
Friday, 17 January 2014
Tesco has confirmed that it will not extend its Axminster branch after all.
The supermarket giant gained planning consent in 2010 for a store extension, provision of a decked car park, a pedestrian footbridge, work to an existing pedestrian link, demolition of two dwellings and associated highway and ancillary works subject to a legal agreement.
The legal agreement was signed on January 27th in 2011, and the extension would have seen the branch’s retail space increase from 18,357 ft2 to 30,448 ft2.
It would also have seen Tesco make a phased contribution of £60,000 (index-linked) over five years towards the provision of a town bus service.
But the planning consent was only valid for three years, so due to expire later this month.
When asked by Pulman’s View if expansion work was imminent, a Tesco spokesperson said: “After careful consideration, we have decided not to extend the store.
“We were pleased to improve its layout, look and feel last year and customer feedback has been really positive on the improvements.”
It is widely anticipated that the nearby Seaton superstore, which opened in November 2011, is the reason for the decision not to extend the Axminster branch.
The spokesperson would not confirm or deny this outright, but said: “We’re very pleased our new Seaton store has been equally well received and will continue to invest in our stores to make them better for our customers and colleagues. We and our customers are happy.”
During the planning application process, Axminster Chamber of Commerce welcomed some aspects of the plan, but also expressed a fear that an increased product range could threaten other businesses in the town.
When asked for comment about the decision, Axminster Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement through executive committee member Paul Hayward: “The chamber recognises that in this uncertain economic times, Tesco obviously felt that the major expense of expanding the Axminster store was unwarranted given the recent opening of the neighbouring superstore in Seaton among other reasons.
“Nevertheless, the chamber will continue to work with all businesses in the town and parish, both big and small, to assist and promote whenever possible their continued prosperity and growth.”
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