Barking supermarket set to expand by half
PUBLISHED: 13:17 01 July 2011
A Tesco store is to increase its size by half by the end of next year, in a move that could create up to 140 jobs.
The out-of-town Tesco in Highbridge Road, Barking, will be revamped internally with the creation of two mezzanines, and new aisles and checkouts, while the cafe will move upstairs.
Tesco said the expansion will allow it to improve the shopping experience of its customers in areas that have become somewhat cramped and extend its product range.
The plans had been criticised by Asda, which claimed the expansion threatened to stifle the Barking Town Centre development, in a letter to the Town Hall development control.
Asda argued a new Tesco store at a shopping hub near Abbey Green, Barking, would be preferable as it would help boost the town centre’s standing.
But councillors approved the plans on Monday night, after hearing the revamp would have a “positive regeneration impact”, by creating 90 retail jobs and another 50 in the building industry.
A council report also said the plan would enhance accessibility to the site and town centre.
There will be improvements outside with better access for cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair users, plus extra disabled car spaces. Tesco is to spend £250,000 on highways improvements as part of the plans.
The refurbishment will see retail space increase from 2,768 to 4,088 square metres.
Sixty per cent of the extra space is to be used to sell “non-food” products in areas that have become overcrowded.
A Tesco spokesman said: “The store is very very busy. We trade very well. We want to make it more comfortable.”
An Asda spokesman said: “We don’t have anything further to add to our objection letter.”
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