Approval recommended for expansion of Axminster Tesco

Axminster Tesco expansion plans look set to get the green light

TESCO’S bid to almost double the size of its Axminster store looks set to go ahead – despite massive local opposition.

District council planners will next week be recommended to approve the expansion, but with a long list of conditions to limit any disturbance to nearby residents.

As part of the deal Tesco will also asked to agree a �60,000 donation towards a new town bus service.

Other conditions will involve restrictions on noise, assurances over pedestrian safety and an ongoing landscaping scheme.

Tesco wants to extend the store to meet “customer demand for a wider range of stock”.

The expansion, which would mean some 40 extra jobs, involves demolishing two houses, building a second storey to the car park and a bridge, linking the supermarket with the town centre.

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Opponents claim it will bring increased noise and disruption to the area – with more cars and extra delivery lorries.

Margaret Cadwgan, who lives next to the store in Vale Lane, told the Herald they were very disappointed at the recommendation to approve the application.

“It’s a big blow,” she said. “It seems you just can’t stop Tesco. This extension is going to mean awful disruption and the noise will be terrible.”

The district council says it has received “a significant number” of letters from neighbours to the site – all either totally opposed to the proposal or expressing concerns.

But Axminster ward member Douglas Hull says the development control committee are almost certain to accept their officers’ advice and give the plans the green light.

He says many concerns still have not been addressed.

“I believe the extra car parking facilities will cause considerable noise and annoyance with a visual impact to the local residents of Minster Court, Shand Park and Mellowes Court,” he said.

Axminster town council says it recognises the need to enlarge the store but says new lines stocked in the bigger shop should not compete with town centre traders

* The Tesco application is the first item on the agenda at Tuesday’s meeting of the development control committee, which starts at 2pm at The Knowle in Sidmouth.