THE PUBLIC consultation on the new Tesco store which is planned for Scarborough got underway yesterday.
Members of the public put forward their opinions to representatives of the supermarket giant at the Oasis Family Centre in Castle Road.
The venue is just a short walk away from the land off Dean Road, where it is proposed that the new 9,492 square metre superstore will be built.
Tesco spokesman Jason Brown, as well as highways representative Geoff Prince and planning expert Edward Uwechue were present to answer questions.
They said the feedback they had received had been relatively positive, although they admitted concerns had been raised over potential traffic issues and noise.
Mr Brown said: “There’s been a steady stream of people. Some of them have issues, but that’s fine.
“We want the community to have a real input to our final plans. We will make changes because of what people tell us.”
After the consultation, a planning application will be submitted to the council. No final time scale has been decided, but it is thought that the application will be submitted later this month or early in January.
Mr Brown added: “We want to make sure we take on board all the views so we can fit them in with our formal application.”
Concerns have also been raised that the huge new supermarket - which it is planned will have a sales floor three times the size of Tesco’s current Westwood store - will take trade from smaller businesses in the town.
However Mr Brown insisted the store would be beneficial for the town’s existing traders.
“I think the increased footfall will have a positive impact,” he said. “The store will boost the local economy by creating new jobs, which will increase the amount of money people have to spend throughout the community.”
A 516-bay community car park would also encourage people to visit shops in Dean Road and the town centre, he added.
It is planned that the area of the store selling non food items, such as electronics and clothing, will be 13 times larger than the current Westwood store.
The area selling food and groceries will be twice as large.
It is expected that the Westwood store will be sold off to a housing developer, if planning permission for the Dean Road site is granted to Tesco.
Other potential uses for the Westwood site, including turning it into a multiplex cinema, were looked at by Tesco, but were met with little interest.
Tesco agreed to purchase the land, in a joint bid with Assura - the owners of the former St. Mary’s Hospital site - in September.
If planning permission is granted for Tesco’s preferred store size, the site alone will cost £20 million. If planning permission is granted for a smaller store, the price will fall accordingly.
The consultation event will continue today, and will be open between noon and 5pm. It will be open tomorrow between 10am and 2pm.