Tesco in talks over new site

The Warren Road development in Red Lodge.
The Warren Road development in Red Lodge.
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SUPERMARKET giant Tesco could occupy a new convenience store in Red Lodge.

The 4,500sqft store will be the largest of six at the new Kings Warren village centre.

Developer Crest Nicholson has also been involved in discussions with Co-Op which was also engaged in legal proceedings to open the store in January.

Councillors originally responded favourably to the news that Co-Op was interested in the site, saying that it would be a good fit for the community.

However, despite reports that it was involved in legal proceedings, no deal has been reached with the supermarket and Tesco has now re-engaged in discussions to occupy the new convenience store.

Forest Heath district councillor, Roger Dicker said: “What’s important is that the development and whatever food store comes opens as soon as possible.

“We all have our preferences and I think we liked the idea of the Co-Op, as they have a lot of stores in villages.

“Whoever finally gets it, I will be pushing for us to get it as soon as possible.”

Tesco was initally not seen as a favourable option for the site as it wanted the size of the store to be reduced and the length of the lease to be extended to 25 years.

However, current negotiations with the supermarket are for the store at its originally proposed size.

Tesco also completed an agreement with Forest Heath District Council last month to open a superstore on a site in High Street, Lakenheath which will create 150 jobs.

Despite the increased interest from the supermarket giant, Co-Op has not ruled itself out of the running.

A spokesman for the chain said: “Like any major retailer, the Co-operative is always looking for opportunities to acquire new sites and to grow its business.

“We are aware of this site in Red Lodge but cannot comment on any speculation.”

Work on the loop off Warren Road which will serve the new St Christophers’ Primary School and the village centre has begun and Crest Nicholson expects to start work on the village centre in June or July.

The village centre will contain six shops and negotiations with possible tenants for the other stores, including take-aways, a pharmacy and a health and beauty salon, are under way.