Store bids for plans backing

An artist's impression
An artist's impression

A SUPERMARKET is urging councillors to back a plan for a new store that could see the creation of 400 jobs.

Tesco is urging Durham County Council approve its proposals for a new supermarket in Peterlee after planning officers recommended the scheme should get the go-ahead.

The scheme, which will also see Tesco build a new library on the site of the former East Durham College, off Burnhope Way, is due to be considered by members of the council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

In their report to councillors, the officers say the development will “enhance Peterlee town centre by replacing an existing vacant buildings that have a poor appearance with a large modern building which will enhance the appearance of the area and will draw people into the town centre”.

A report set to be discussed at the meeting added: “The scheme represents significant investment in Peterlee which will widen retail choice and contribute to the regeneration of the area.”

Tesco corporate affairs manager, Doug Wilson, said: “This proposal has received support at every stage – from local people who have sent hundreds of letters in favour and now from the council’s officers.

“It has one more very important stage to get through. We have a very strong application which will not only help regenerate Peterlee town centre, but also offer shoppers a choice they do not currently have.”

If given the go ahead in Peterlee, Tesco will begin work as soon as possible to pull down the disused college and replace it with a new store and state-of-the-art library.

A partnership between Tesco and JobCentre Plus is already in place to help long-term unemployed people compete for jobs in the new store.

“We are taking nothing for granted, but are ready to get started as early as we can. We were telling people in Peterlee about this proposal 18 months ago. Since then other developers have come forward with their plans. This has meant that consideration of our scheme could not happen until now.

“We are ready – and have been for a long time – to get going on this development which will create so many jobs and breathe new life into Peterlee town centre.”