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Tesco finally submits plan for Northgate supermarket
NEARLY two years after it was given the nod to buy a huge site in Bridgwater, Tesco has finally submitted a planning application to build a giant supermarket on it.
Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council, which both own parts of Northgate, agreed in January 2011 to sell to Tesco.
The supermarket chain was expected to submit an application for a giant Extra store, creating 260 jobs, last October.
But instead, the scheme was only passed to the district council this month.
The public still cannot find out any details about it, though, because the council says it has not yet been registered due to “an outstanding technical matter”.
A council spokesman said there was nothing unusual about a delay with an application of this size, and the scheme could be registered within days.
The spokesman said: “There is an outstanding technical matter with the application that needs to be resolved before the application can be registered, which is the subject of on-going discussions between Tesco and planning officers.
“Once the application is registered, it will be a public document and will appear on SDC’s website and available for inspection in Bridgwater House.”
A Tesco spokesman confirmed representatives of the supermarket have visited Bridgwater to meet with councillors and officers to explain details about the application.
However, campaign group Bridgwater Forward, which opposed the demolition of the Splash swimming pool in Northgate and the subsequent decision by the two councils to sell to Tesco, said there had been a “deathly silence” over the issue.
A group spokesman said: “Tesco and Sedgemoor know that there will be enormous opposition to the application, which has caused the loss of our town centre swimming pool and involves the sale of a major town-centre open space into private ownership.”
The group says it carried out a survey of Bridgwater shoppers, 61% of whom said they would refuse to shop at Tesco.
The supermarket has also this week released images showing how the new play area proposed as part of the store bid might look.