Late delivery for Tesco over Penwortham site

Tesco has reaffirmed its plans to open a store in Penwortham, despite the predicted timeframe lapsing.
An artist's impression of the Tesco in Cop Lane PenworthamAn artist's impression of the Tesco in Cop Lane Penwortham
An artist's impression of the Tesco in Cop Lane Penwortham

Last year bosses at the supermarket giant announced they hoped to submit plans for the former DWP site in Cop Lane by Christmas.

They said if South Ribble Council gave the green light, the store could be be open by Christmas 2016.

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But no plans were submitted in 2015, and concerns are being raised that the site is being left to stagnate. It has already been boarded up for more than six years.

In May 2012, South Ribble Council planners voted unanimously to allow Sainsbury’s to develop site despite objections from more than 700 people. But in 2013, it dropped the plans, citing financial reasons.

Tescos then bought the site in October 2013 and announced it wanted to build a store of around 30,000sqft with a petrol station.

Councillor David Howarth, Mayor of Penwortham, said: “Everybody reads the papers have has heard about Tesco mothballing sites they’ve already developed in other parts of the country. So why are they so keen on Penwortham when Sainsbury’s pulled out over economic reasons?

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“People are worried this is dragging on and on, and we need some resolution.”

Tesco spokesman Mark Thomas insisted the delay was not a sign of anything untoward.

He said: “We’re still coming forward with the plans, we’re still committed to the site. It’s been sat there for a while so we want to do something and hope to submit plans shortly.”

In correspondence with Penwortham Town Council, Tesco indicated it wants to consult with the community in early spring and submit an application in late spring.