Thursday, January 12, 2012

News: New Tesco will "form a natural extension to Rotherham town centre"


Developers behind a new 10,000 sq m Tesco Extra development in Rotherham, expect it to have a positive impact on the town centre.

Anglo-Dutch developer, TCN, has submitted the plans this week which discuss how the new store will form a natural extension to the town centre and provide "a new town centre anchor that will help to claw-back trade lost to out-of-centre superstores."

The development on the site of council buildings at Walker Place will replace the current outdated store on Forge Island that cannot be extended or redeveloped.

The plans also state that "the proposal will not result in any significant detrimental impact upon the vitality and viability of the existing stores or centres."

The proposed store will provide 1,301 sq m more convenience sales floorspace than the current store. There will be a total of 2,411 sq m comparison goods sales floorspace, which will be 2,061 sq m more than provided by the existing Tesco store.

The additional floorspace will allow a greater range of products such as clothing, books, CDs and household electrical goods to be sold from the proposed store.

The plans add that: "However, the Tesco store will not provide much choice within each category of non-food goods sold, and it will not take the place of traditional comparison high street outlets, which provide a much more varied offer."

A spokesperson addressed concerns from some retailers that the move across town will adversely affect existing stores: "We do not consider that the closure of the existing Tesco store will have any adverse impact on the town centre, because this store is not well-connected to the retail core and is constrained and dated in its offer.

"We expect that the replacement store may divert some trade from other retailers in the town centre, but only to a limited degree.

"In terms of convenience provision, there are no other main food retailers within the town centre to impact upon. The only existing convenience retailers are small-scale, largely independent units, which provide a 'top up' food and grocery function, and will continue to do so.

"These retailers currently trade alongside the existing Tesco superstore at Forge Island, and so there is no reason why they will not be able to continue trading alongside the replacement store."

With 544 parking spaces proposed, the car park on the new site will provide free parking for two hours for customers of the food store, similar to arrangements at the current Tesco store on Forge Island. The applicants hope that this duration will allow and encourage Tesco customers to undertake a linked trip with the town centre as part of their visit.

The development would create 450 jobs and is expected to open in 2013.

TCN website

Images: TCN / Smith Smalley


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