Tesco assurance over Brixham store
SUPERMARKET giant Tesco insists it remains committed to building a store in Brixham town centre.
The company's announcement, confirmed by scheme co-developers Albourne Property, comes after Britain's leading supermarket chain announced investment plans for new property were changing in the light of its trading results.
Tesco announced a 'reduced new store opening programme in the UK for 2013'.
However, plans for a Brixham store are not part of the reduced opening programme.
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Richard Batham-Read, development director with Albourne Property, said his firm and Tesco were 'very much committed to coming to Brixham'.
He said: "Brixham is a town where they are very much committed to invest in. We have an agreement with Tesco and Torbay Council. Neither Tesco nor us intent to pull out of Brixham."
The supermarket giant is hoping to build a 32,000 sq ft store, 10 town houses and 7,000 sq ft of apartment space, 350 parking spaces.
Mr Batham-Read said the company was working on a revised scheme with a much improved design, some more residential units and a public realm area outside the store which will be better integrated with the rest of the town.
He said Albourne and Tesco had recent meetings with Torbay Council and would meet planning department officials again soon.
He added: "We hope to be in a position to put a planning application in within the next three months, probably at the beginning of summer.
"It will be a much enhanced scheme which will cost more to build.
"The scheme is separate from the outcome on the Edginswell scheme.
"They see Brixham as an island where they don't have much representation but it has a very different catchment area from Torquay."
Sue Dawes, a member of the Brixham Residents Against a Tesco Superstore, said the fight against the proposed store was still very much on.
She said: "We won't stop until we have a decision from Torbay Council that Tesco is not coming. We will fight for however long it takes."
Since a parish poll was called and cancelled following representation by members of the public that the decision was open to a legal challenge, BRATS has received letters and ideas from the community for an alternative proposal.
Mrs Dawes, who addressed a recent town council meeting asking for everyone in the port to work together, added: "There are so many people in Brixham with alternative ideas for the site.
"That's what the visioning events we're planning are all about. We want to give Torbay Council other options.
"We will continue to campaign against Tesco because we don't feel that it is right for this lovely harbour town."
Meanwhile, traders in Torquay have warned any superstore on the edge of the town could further damage the town centres.
Torbay Town Centres Company is among 100 objectors to the proposals for a multimillion-pound supermarket which Tesco says will create 240 jobs at Edginswell.
In its objection, the town centres company cites the employment designation of the Edginswell Business Park, challenges the need for the supermarket when there is already significant provision within the local area primarily by Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer, Lidl and Asda.
It states: "The proposed Tesco development taken cumulatively with this current provision will have a serious and detrimental impact on the town centres."
The objection says that current Government policy is to ensure the vitality of town centres and the need to consider investment in town centres first before further edge of centre locations and only if suitable sites are not available should out of town locations be considered.
This national approach has also been reflected locally in the Torbay Local Plan which supports the principle of town centre development, says the company.