Tesco gears up for next major planning hurdle

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A public consultation over a crucial road closure which has stalled the construction of Scarborough’s new Tesco

superstore is expected to start in the next few months.

The supermarket giant has submitted its application to the Department for Transport (DfT) in the hope it will be given permission to close Trafalgar Street West.

The Government will now consult residents, including campaigners who have opposed the multi-million pound Dean Road development, before a final decision is made.

Tesco spokeswoman Deborah Hayeems said: “The DfT has been given all the paperwork and we would expect there to be a consultation on the road closure in the next few months.”

Speculation over the site has been mounting, with many believing the scheme had been shelved as a result of the economic downturn.

But Ms Hayeems maintained the store, which was approved in December 2011, would still go ahead, adding that the planning process would “take time”.

“It’s understandable that people will be concerned as there are sites that we’ve had to make difficult decisions on, but Scarborough is still on our programme and it’s still moving,” she said.

Rumours have also been circulating that the £3.6 million relocation of Scarborough Council’s depot to a former gas works off Seamer Road is stalling the build.

The authority agreed to sell its Dean Road site to Tesco and planned to relocate upon the supermarket being granted approval.

But it is believed the new plot is contaminated, despite current owners, the Skipton Building Society, promising it would clean up the land.

The council’s strategic director, David Archer, said the authority had started the buying process.

“A condition of the sale includes Skipton remedying the contamination on the site. We are currently in the process of checking whether those works have been carried out in accordance with the contract and that the site is properly reinstated,” he said. “While this is taking longer than originally envisaged, at this moment, we don’t believe this will have an adverse effect on the timescales for the development of the supermarket and we are keeping in regular touch with Tesco as it continues its project planning process.”