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Tesco bids to double size of 'overtrading' store

An application has been submitted to demolish and replace Tesco in Hook, which would see the store double in size

Plans have been submitted to demolish the store and build a larger one

Tesco has submitted plans to demolish its store in Hook and replace it with a larger one.

The supermarket giant wants to double the size of its store in Station Road by building a new eco-friendly outlet on an industrial area next door.

Tesco said the existing supermarket is ‘overtrading’ and a lack of adequate food retail unit size within the area results in a ‘considerable leaching’ of expenditure to neighbouring towns.

It added that, during a pre-application meeting with Hart District Council, the possibility of decked parking with a supermarket above was explored in order to free up part of the site for smaller retail units.

But Tesco said that after reflecting on the proposal it was not considered appropriate as ‘stores on stilts’ have a scale more suitable to city environments.

The proposed site is around five acres and would include a supermarket of about 45,725 sq/ft.

There would also be 313 parking spaces including 16 disabled spaces, 12 parent-and-toddler spaces and eight spaces for staff.

Some 15 staff cycle parking spaces are proposed, along with 22 customer cycle parking spaces.

There would also be covered trolley bays in the car park, a cash machine at the front of the supermarket, improved pedestrian and vehicular links, new landscaping and a recycling facility for customers in the car park.

Tesco said the new supermarket has been positioned towards the south western corner of the site so the existing store can carry on trading during redevelopment work.

It added the new store would create 60 new jobs, ranging from manual to professional roles and including management, bakers, warehouse and security staff, checkout operators, cleaners and maintenance staff.

A supporting planning statement prepared for Tesco by Devon-based Amethyst Planning said: “The national planning policy framework makes it very clear that there is a presumption in favour of sustainable economic development and, on this basis, the application should be approved.”

It added the proposed store would have a number of eco-friendly initiatives, including roof-mounted wind powered ventilators, energy efficient lighting and an entrance lobby designed to reduce both heat loss from the building and draughts on the sales floor and checkouts.

Additional glazing would allow more natural light into the store, reducing the need for electric lighting, and a rainwater harvesting system will deliver at least 50% of the water needed to flush the toilets.

Tesco held a community exhibition about its plans on December 17. Invitations were sent to 221 properties near the existing store.

Before the exhibition, held in the foyer of the existing store, staff were briefed about the proposals.

Tesco said the exhibition was busy throughout the day with many people who attended stating they were visiting specifically to view the plans rather than to complete a shop.

Tesco said 185 feedback forms were completed, with 159 supporting the proposals. Sixteen forms were against the proposals and 28 were undecided.

The council hopes to make a decision on the application by March 10.

The application comes as supermarket rival Sainsbury’s was recently granted permission to build a new store on land to the north-east of the town .

 

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