A NEW supermarket for Mablethorpe, bringing 150 new jobs, is on the horizon after councillors gave it their approval on Thursday.
Members of East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee were nearly all in favour of the amended plans, which they were satisfied have addressed concerns raised in December, when they gave it only ‘minded approval’.
The building of the new medium-scale store in Station Road, on the site of the sports centre, now rests upon the signing of a section 106 agreement which includes provision of a new facility in Stanley Avenue.
Local resident John Mitchell, speaking against the development, aired his concerns over the ‘five-year plan’ to build after Tesco were granted an extra two years on top of the usual three to get the work concluded.
“We need jobs now,” he declared.
Mr Mitchell also warned that traffic problems would be made ‘ten times worse than they already are’ and likened the size of the store in relation to the site to ‘putting a quart in a pint pot’.
Tesco’s Nigel Cussens told the meeting the new sports facility would be ‘guaranteed’ to be open before work on the supermarket begins.
Planning officer Michelle Walker explained the tweaks to Tesco’s original plans, including a vastly improved war memorial setting and a ‘chunky’ store frontage made slimmer.
This was backed by Coun Steve O’Dare, who said he was ‘more than pleased’ with the war memorial changes which include ‘sensitive landscaping’, a seating area and a remembrance wall.
As members picked their way through the amendments, Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders re-iterated her belief that Tesco ‘could and should have been more creative with their plans with the clout they have’, something seconded by Coun Andrew Ferryman of Sutton on Sea. But Coun Phil Kemp argued that the functional design ‘did the job’.
When Coun Jean Bradley, of Alford, sought clarification that the new leisure centre would be of sufficient quality for the town, her fears were eased by Mrs Walker.
Coun Ferryman conceded that Mablethorpe ‘desperately needed something to happen’ and said he hoped the store might ‘have the effect Sainsbury’s had had on Spilsby’.
All members except Coun Makinson-Sanders, who abstained, supported the approval of the supermarket.
Commenting, Louise Gosling, corporate affairs manager for Tesco said: “We are delighted that the committee have approved our application.
“Our new store will make shopping easier for Mablethorpe residents, improve choice and keep more people in the town to do their main food shopping.
“We will now work with the council to provide new and upgraded leisure facilities, including a sports hall and state-of-the-art fitness suite in Stanley Avenue.
“To ensure no loss of service we are committed to ensuring the new sports hall is up and running before we begin work redeveloping the Station Road site.”
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