BREAKING NEWS: Tesco axes Tattershall plan but silent on Horncastle

An artist's impression from 2009 of how the proposed Tesco superstore in Tattershall might have looked. EMN-150801-135912001
An artist's impression from 2009 of how the proposed Tesco superstore in Tattershall might have looked. EMN-150801-135912001

Troubled retail giants Tesco has pulled the plug on plans to open a new store in Tattershall.

Work was scheduled to start this year but has been shelved as part of national cuts by the store.

Tesco, still Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, announced today (Thursday) it will be closing 43 unprofitable stores as well as axing 49 planned new stores.

There was no official comment from Tesco on which existing stores will shut - leading to concerns for staff at Horncastle and Market Rasen.

The news regarding Tattershall was confirmed by East Lindsey District Council’s deputy leader Craig Leyland.

In 2010, Tesco won a lengthy planning battle to build a new store in Tattershall, following an appeal hearing.

Fears the development would negatively impact retail businesses in the village and wipe out valuable parking spaces were dismissed by a planning inspector.

The appeal - at Tattershall Village Hall - attracted around 50 members of the public and was chaired by planning inspector Karen Ridge - appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

In her final decision, Miss Ridge went against the decision of East Lindsey District Council who refused the application in April.

Since then, residents have been waiting for work to start on the store at 22 Market Place.

The project also included associated access, servicing, car parking and landscaping.

As part of the nationwide cuts, Tesco will also consolidate head office locations, closing Cheshunt in 2016 and making Welwyn Garden City the UK and Group centre.

The announcement comes after the supermarket giant suffered another fall in sales during the crucial Christmas trading period, despite it’s downturn slowing.

Like-for-like sales are reported to have dropped by 2.9 per cent over the last 19 weeks of the year.

Other planned stores that have been shelved include Sleaford and Mablethorpe.

Dave Lewis, Tesco’s chief executive officer, said: “It is with a heavy heart that I am today announcing that we are unable to proceed with 49 planned new store developments across the UK.

“Our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and my absolute imperative has to be to protect the future of our business for the 300,000 colleagues we employ in communities all over the UK.

“I know that this news will be a real disappointment to many people in the local community and we’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received for our plans.