Tesco to consult on new store plans

RESIDENTS are to be consulted over the proposed Tesco Express due to open in Portishead in the New Year.

Speaking at a recent Portishead Town Council meeting, Tesco corporate affairs manager Sophie Akokhia said weeks of public consultation will now begin relating to the conversion of the former Royal Oak pub to a convenience store.

She promised anyone unable to attend public meetings, who had questions or wanted to voice an opinion, would be visited by her in their homes.

Planning permission is not required for Tesco to start trading at the West Hill premises because it is already registered for retail use, but applications have been submitted for a variety of minor works including an illuminated sign, a cash point machine, air conditioning and condensing units.

A petition opposing the Tesco Express has already gathered almost 2,000 signatures at the nearby Costcutter supermarket.

Residents say if the Tesco Express opens they fear for the future of the family-run store that has served them well over the past five years. Other concerns raised by residents include insufficient parking, delivery and opening times.

Ms Akokhia said: “Experience tells us that other business can benefit from being near a Tesco Express.

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“The presence of our staff, customers and CCTV cameras will also act as a deterrent to antisocial behaviour.”

The first public consultation meeting is expected to take place at the St Barnabas Centre in West Hill on November 7 at 6.30pm.