Controversial plans for a new Tesco superstore in Market Harborough remain on the table, the retail giant has pledged.
The company last Thursday announced plans to shelve plans for 49 new large stores across the UK but said the new out-of-town superstore to be built on land off Rockingham Road, Market Harborough, will not be among them.
Last month Tesco cleared the final obstacle for the new store in Harborough when the Department for Communities and Local Government decided not to intervene in the planning process.
The company’s chief executive Dave King contacted both the Mail and Harborough District Council last Thursday morning to confirm Tesco’s interest in Harborough.
He said: “We’ve carefully reviewed our large store plans across the country and we continue to believe our planned store in Market Harborough will provide a valued service to the local community.
“The new store will provide a great shopping experience as well as bringing new jobs and investment to the area.
“We’re not yet ready to confirm an opening date but we’ll keep the community closely updated.”
Tesco is closing 43 of its least profitable stores.
In some towns new Tesco building projects, some of which are near completion, will be mothballed.
Harborough Council’s portfolio holder responsible for planning, finance, assets and development Cllr Phil King said: “I welcome the news that Tesco is committed to its future in Market Harborough.”
Mail readers gave a mixed reaction to the news.
Some were sad to hear the store will still be going ahead and expressed fears for the future of small independent shops in the town.
But others, were more optimistic.
Iain Morton said on the Mail’s Facebook page: “I’ve no problem with it opening per se. I’m just baffled as to why anyone would use it, or why they think it’s a good idea given we already have Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl within 500 yards of each other.”