What is happening with Bridgwater's Tesco development?

Bridgwater Mercury: Mystery over Tesco site Mystery over Tesco site

A STATEMENT by Tesco’s boss heralding the “end of new big stores” has led to speculation about the future of a Bridgwater superstore.

Plans for a massive Tesco Extra on Bridgwater’s Northgate site, which was set to open this summer, were given the thumbs-up by Sedgemoor planners more than a year ago.

The Mercury was told by Sedgemoor District Council in February that the terms of a legal agreement called a Section 106, which covers community contributions from developers, were “still being negotiated” and Tesco promised to keep the community updated.

But last week Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke told the BBC he is moving the company’s focus away from huge stores and on to smaller shops.

He said Tesco would open 12 big stores in the coming year, but no more of the huge Tesco Extras.

He said: “It is the end of new big stores.”

Westover councillor Brian Smedley, who campaigned against the store, told the Mercury: “The long, unexplained delay in progressing the Bridgwater development is now beginning to make sense.

“We’ve been pressing the council’s leadership for an update and any comment on the rumours of this cancellation for some time, but have been met by a wall of silence.

“The latest national announcement from Tesco appears to be the final nail in the coffin for this development.”

Cllr Smedley has suggested that Sedgemoor starts “urgently working up a plan B”.

Cllr Ian Tucker, who is also opposed to the project, said: “It’s a real mystery, that one.

“I keep going into planning and asking, and there just seems to be nothing happening.

“Northgate is one of the best parts of Bridgwater – what would be better there is something like an ice skating rink.”

Sedgemoor District Council’s corporate director, Doug Bamsey, told the Mercury: “The draft 106 agreement has been sent off, and as with any legal agreement it can go through various changes.”

When asked whether the council had received any progress updates from Tesco, Mr Bamsey replied: “We’ve had no updates recently.”

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to work with the council. The planning process takes time, but we will continue to keep the community updated on progress.”

She added that Tesco is hoping to meet the council in the coming weeks and offer an update at the beginning of June.

* Have your say on the delays and rumours by commenting below

Comments (7)

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3:07pm Wed 14 May 14

Ka7e says...

One suspects SDC will now offer all sorts of concessions and inducements to try and convince Tesco to go ahead. Tesco have already demanded longer operational hours and less stringent noise restrictions. They also cherry-picked the dates when they compared lorry movementsat a comparable store - they excluded Bank Holidays and Easter!
One suspects SDC will now offer all sorts of concessions and inducements to try and convince Tesco to go ahead. Tesco have already demanded longer operational hours and less stringent noise restrictions. They also cherry-picked the dates when they compared lorry movementsat a comparable store - they excluded Bank Holidays and Easter! Ka7e
  • Score: 0

9:21am Thu 15 May 14

awayswing says...

The news that Tesco's are not going to build large stores anymore was in the national press weeks ago.News of this should come as no surprise to SDC or SCC who clearly are not monitoring the situation properly and have given more than enough inducements to Tesco's.
The news that Tesco's are not going to build large stores anymore was in the national press weeks ago.News of this should come as no surprise to SDC or SCC who clearly are not monitoring the situation properly and have given more than enough inducements to Tesco's. awayswing
  • Score: 3

4:43pm Fri 16 May 14

MR.GOF says...

Thats great news,nice green fields,so much better than a crappy building
Thats great news,nice green fields,so much better than a crappy building MR.GOF
  • Score: 3

11:35am Mon 19 May 14

Jon Alsbury says...

Bridgwater has more than enough large supermarkets already. Hopefully this short-sighted and ill-advised scheme is now dead in the water.

In addition to the loss of a large portion of the Brewery Field, the proposed Tesco mega-store would have contributed nothing towards the much needed regeneration of the town.

One only has to look at the negative impact the Asda store has had on Eastover to see how Tesco would have killed off many of the small and medium sized shops in the town centre.
Bridgwater has more than enough large supermarkets already. Hopefully this short-sighted and ill-advised scheme is now dead in the water. In addition to the loss of a large portion of the Brewery Field, the proposed Tesco mega-store would have contributed nothing towards the much needed regeneration of the town. One only has to look at the negative impact the Asda store has had on Eastover to see how Tesco would have killed off many of the small and medium sized shops in the town centre. Jon Alsbury
  • Score: 6

8:44am Tue 20 May 14

awayswing says...

The Tesco's site may well become part of Tesco's landbank and never used for the benefit of Bridgwater.
The Tesco's site may well become part of Tesco's landbank and never used for the benefit of Bridgwater. awayswing
  • Score: 3

1:00pm Tue 20 May 14

swjoduk says...

awayswing wrote:
The Tesco's site may well become part of Tesco's landbank and never used for the benefit of Bridgwater.
Whilst one end of Eastover seems particularly dead and empty, the other end seems pretty busy with decent charity shops, off licence, cafes, restuarants, Proper Job and a new clothes store. Not to mention the Post Office. All seems to be coming along quite nicely
[quote][p][bold]awayswing[/bold] wrote: The Tesco's site may well become part of Tesco's landbank and never used for the benefit of Bridgwater.[/p][/quote]Whilst one end of Eastover seems particularly dead and empty, the other end seems pretty busy with decent charity shops, off licence, cafes, restuarants, Proper Job and a new clothes store. Not to mention the Post Office. All seems to be coming along quite nicely swjoduk
  • Score: 0

5:35pm Thu 22 May 14

breweryfielder says...

Enough supermarkets in Bridgy!Something WORTHWHILE on the genuine brownfield site and improve the path and field to continue to be a real green asset and gateway to the town and dock for residents and visitors,PLEASE,as was envisaged in the original area development plan. JohnG
Enough supermarkets in Bridgy!Something WORTHWHILE on the genuine brownfield site and improve the path and field to continue to be a real green asset and gateway to the town and dock for residents and visitors,PLEASE,as was envisaged in the original area development plan. JohnG breweryfielder
  • Score: 9

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