Tesco plan divides opinion in Warsop

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TESCO’S bid to build a new store in Warsop is dividing opinion in the town after plans for the supermarket were submitted last week.

The retail giant wants to build a 10,000sq ft store on land off Burns Lane and originally planned to bulldoze two 1920s stone cottages on nearby Church Street and the landmark Strand bingo hall.

But after concern locally and interest in the historic buildings from English Heritage, Tesco has revised its proposals.

The cottages will now remain and although part of the art deco bingo hall will be knocked down, the building’s front on Church Street will be retained, refurbished and used as an office.

Tesco bosses held a public exhibition in the town last year and say 67 per cent of people asked were in favour.

Jonathan Simpson, Tesco corporate affairs manager, said: “We now have a scheme which maintains the tradition and character of Church Street but still offers local people the option of doing their main weekly shopping in town.

“Together with creating around 70 new jobs, we think this is a real win-win situation for Market Warsop.”

The store will be located behind the bingo hall and the cottages, with access on foot from Church Street and parking off Burns Lane.

Coun Stuart Moody, chairman of Warsop Parish Council, said: “The plans look very exciting and it is pleasing to see that they have listened to comments from residents and council officers and are looking to retain and renovate the stone cottages and bingo hall.

“I feel a store like this would benefit many residents of the parish and there is the possibility of some limited employment opportunities.

“Our concerns, as always, are the effects upon local businesses. We hope the forecast that more people will choose to stay in Warsop to do their main weekly shop will prove to be true and indeed attract more shoppers to stick with our independent retailers.”

A resident of one of the two cottages on Church Street said she and her husband were happy with the plans and intended to move out anyway for other reasons.

But Tesco’s plans are causing concern among some shopkeepers in the town.

Sheelah Davies, from News and Toys, said the plans were unfair to other retailers in Warsop.

“I don’t think the size of the town warrants it,” she said. “Shirebrook is having a massive one and we are surrounded by other supermarkets in Mansfield Woodhouse, Mansfield, Ollerton and Worksop.

“I would like to know what the Government is doing about it - it is supposed to be supporting independent shops.”

A Mansfield District Council spokesman said the application is expected to be discussed before the end of July.