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Tesco aims for double store opening

PUBLISHED: 14:42 07 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 July 2010

TWO new or enlarged Tesco supermarkets could be opening at the same time in Stalham and Caister if the global chain's planning applications are approved.

TWO new or enlarged Tesco supermarkets could be opening at the same time in Stalham and Caister if the global chain's planning applications are approved.

Plans are set to be submitted before the end of June to increase the size of the Stalham store and build a new supermarket at Caister which would provide the village with a new £1m hall.

Tesco spokesman Nick Gellatly said: “We hope to submit on both schemes during the next few weeks. It is entirely possible the applications could be sent in at the start of June, but I would not like to say for definite.”

The news will come as a blow to opponents of the Stalham store who hoped Tesco had dropped plans to double the size of the existing 1300sq m store after strong local opposition forced Tesco to re-think.

Protestors were concerned over the impact on smaller traders in the village centre, fearing many shopkeepers would not be able to compete with the bigger Tesco which would be able to sell many of the products sold by the smaller shops.

The original Stalham plans also included an increase in the number of car parking spaces from 189 to 362, but these were withdrawn in February after North Norfolk District Council looked poised to reject them.

As reported in last week's Mercury the Caister development beside the existing Yarmouth Road Tesco would provide a village hall with recording facilities, a council office and 200-seater main hall.

Tony Overill, chair of Caister Parish Council, said the scheme's building costs would be covered by Tesco in return for building on parish council land, but council taxpayers would have to pay an extra 90p per household per year to cover the legal costs.

He said the Tesco project would “bring the village into the 21st century.”

However, opponent Nigel Dowdney, of the independent store the Stalham Shopper, said: “There is a finite amount of money within Norfolk to spend on groceries. Tesco is pushing as hard as possible so they can get the largest amount possible. At the end of the day the more Tesco expand, the more small businesses will suffer.”


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