Tesco makes fresh bid for store despite fight

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TESCO is making a fresh attempt to open one of its neighbourhood Express stores at Parkhead in Sheffield after its previous scheme attracted widespread opposition.

An application to redevelop the site of a former garage off Ecclesall Road South, near Abbey Lane, was rejected two-and-a-half years ago amid community protests that included petitions signed by 4,000 people.

Now the supermarket giant is preparing revised proposals that it says takes into account residents’ views. It is distributing leaflets to homes in the area and is seeking “feedback” before making a formal planning application.

Tesco says the store would create around 20 jobs and provide a range of convenience goods as well as fresh fruit, meat, dairy and frozen products. The design, it says, fits in with the scale and style of surrounding buildings.

If granted planning consent, the garage would be demolished but the house will be retained and renovated for residential use.

Already the site has planning consent for eight apartments and a flat conversion and Tesco’s proposals will be “significantly smaller”, it argues.

Tesco’s application was rejected last time partly because of the prospect of delivery vehicles, including articulated lorries, parking on the road. The council was also concerned about the over-development and over-intensification of the site.

Critics were also worried about the impact of another neighbourhood store run by one of the superstore groups on smaller traders in the area.

Local Liberal Democrat councillor Sylvia Dunkley, who opposed the previous plans, said she was “a little surprised” that Tesco was trying again “given the strength of feeling in the community and the “robust” reasons for refusal.

“I have already had one person email me about it and I am expecting a lot more.”

Coun Dunkley said road safety remained one of the key issues, adding that parking problems had emerged with the opening of a Tesco Express off Abbeydale Road South at Totley Rise.