Tesco pulls out of Darlington store plans – campaigning works!

Yet another example of Tesco pulling out of plans after local opposition. [See more …]

Tesco puts garage site up for sale

Supermarket chain Tesco has pulled out of plans to open its first store in Darlington.

Tesco yesterday admitted it had dropped proposals to build an Express shop on a former petrol station in the town’s North Road.

A spokesman revealed it had, instead, put the site up for sale.

Juliette Bishop, from Tesco, said: “We are disappointed that our planning application for the site on North Road has been unsuccessful.

“We remain convinced that our plans would benefit the local area, as well as regenerating a derelict site.

“However, after taking some time to consider our options, we have decided to no longer progress plans for this site.”

Councillors rejected the third set of plans for the former Shell garage on December 12.

Tesco had also appealed against the council’s previous refusal for the 107,000 sq ft store in the Harrowgate Hill area of the town.

Councillor Mark Burton, who represents Harrowgate Hill on Darlington Borough Council, had earlier this week contacted the company to ensure the site was tidied up as Tesco had promised last month.

He said: “I am very surprised.

Tesco generally fights tooth and nail.

“It would be nice to see it sold onto a housing developer for houses relatively the same as those in the area.”

Tesco bought the site for £500,000 last January, four months after an initial set of plans for a mini-supermarket were refused.

Coun Burton said: “I can see it being derelict for quite some time. That is the last thing people really want.”

Shell closed the petrol station in February 2005 and put the site up for sale.

The site was then plagued by anti-social behaviour until fencing was erected around it.

In August 2006, plans were unveiled for a 24-hour Tesco store and 130 apartments on the present town hall site.

The council later refused the plans after a petition with more than 10,000 names was handed in to the council.

Tesco’s only presence in Darlington is a One Stop shop, in Yarm Road, whose parent company was bought by the chain in Jaunary 2003. It still operates under the One Stop name.

The Northern Echo, Wednesday 9th January 2008

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