THE prospect of a new Tesco store in Mablethorpe has taken a giant leap forward after councillors endorsed the plans.
Last Thursday, members of the East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee voted 8-3 that they were ‘mindful to approve’ the development subject to conditions being met.
Tesco hope to build the new medium-scale store in place of the town’s current sports centre in Station Road, replacing it with a new facility in Stanley Avenue via a section 106 agreement and a separate planning application.
But members raised further issues they are yet to be satisfied by, including the new sports centre being operational before work on the store begins.
Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders, of Louth, said Tesco could do ‘much better’ than their current artist’s impression of the design. “A roof in the shape of a wave would fit in with a seaside resort,” she said. “This needs to be a statement building in a town not blessed with impressive architecture.”
Other issues include a compromise on trading hours, Tesco are keen to open from 7am until 11pm but councillors want to restrict business to 8am until 10pm.
Concerns were also raised about the siting of both the war memorial and the market, HGV movement and disabled parking provision.
Planning officers will now attempt to negotiate the issues with Tesco, none of which are thought to be insurmountable.
Former mayor of Mablethorpe Coun Tony Howard was largely supportive, though he felt Tesco was ‘short changing’ the town in what it offered. He proposed a swimming pool within the new sports centre, but head of planning David Loveday said: “There’s no way we could reasonably ask for such a provision of a developer.”
As part of the negotiations, Tesco will be invited to fund improvements to the Mablethorpe street scene.
Louise Gosling, Tesco’s corporate affairs manager, said: “We are glad that members have seen the benefits we will deliver with our new store in Mablethorpe.
“We expect it will keep more people in the town to do their main food shopping and so increase potential trade to other businesses in the town centre, as well as creating up to 150 new jobs at all levels.”
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