Tesco ‘to pursue Desborough bid’

Lawrence Factory site in Desborough has planning permission in place for a Tesco store
Lawrence Factory site in Desborough has planning permission in place for a Tesco store

Tesco bosses have promised they still have plans to build a new supermarket in Desborough despite recently being granted permission for a site in Market Harborough.

The site in Desborough was granted planning permission on January 25, 2012, but building work has still yet to start.

Kettering Council’s planning committee voted to approve a Tesco superstore at the former Lawrence Factory site in Desborough and at the same meeting, councillors voted to throw out a rival application for a Sainsbury’s superstore at Magnetic Park, on land to the north of the town.

The time limit for planning permission lasts for three years so Tesco has just seven months to start building work in Desborough or face re-applying for permission.

According to the Government’s planning portal advice website, it states: “By law, any planning permission granted expires after a certain period.

“Generally, unless your permission says otherwise, you have three years from the date it’s granted to begin the development.

“If you haven’t started work by then, you will probably need to reapply.

“You can apply to extend it – usually by a further two years.”

We put seven questions to the supermarket giant about the stores in Desborough and Harborough, but Tesco only issued this one-paragraph response.

It stated: “We’re continuing to work with Kettering Council and will keep the local community updated.”

We contacted Kettering Council for a comment but it has not yet responded.

Belinda Humfrey, the chairman of Desborough Civic Society, said she was still very much against a Tesco store being built in the town.

She said: “I’m certainly against it. It would spoil the town.

“And it certainly wouldn’t increase footfall in the town like Tesco claimed it would, people would just drive in and drive straight back out.”

She added that a Tesco in Desborough would badly damage trade for independent shops.

Several people took to Twitter this week to cast doubt on a store ever being built now in Desborough.,

Rob (@sentra17) said: “Zip, zero, zilch. I very much doubt there will ever be a Tesco in Desborough.”

Gary Wynne (@familyw32) said: “Desborough residents want a Tesco and a petrol station. Kettering Council and the Co-op call the shots.

“The site is tied up legally by the Co-op.”