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Archive - Monday, 29 April 2002
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Fears raised over superstore move on to town centre site
A COUNCILLOR fears that allowing a supermarket chain to trade from a town centre site will scupper regeneration plans for the area.
Despite concerns there would be a threat to the regeneration proposals for Billingham, members of Stockton Borough Council's planning committee have agreed to allow Tesco to trade from Leeholme Road, the site occupied by Dunnes Stores.
The site is approximately half-a-mile from the town centre and there are also concerns there could be a significant impact on trading patterns in the centre.
Asda has a small supermarket in the town centre and there is also a KwikSave and Iceland within five minutes walking distance.
Councillor Norman Teasdale told the meeting that he feared for the future of the regeneration of the town centre.
He said: "We are trying to regenerate the town centre by selling off some of the land in the centre to a supermarket chain so we can get money to develop the rest of the town centre.
"If we allow a supermarket to trade from a different part of Billingham it could scupper the plans for the rest of the town.
"It is a very large premises and can accommodate parking space very easily. It is an ideal site for people wanting to food shop in Billingham.
"By granting this we can whistle goodbye to the town centre regeneration."
Dunnes Stores has operated from the site since 1986, originally selling food and clothes. However, in 1996 the food hall closed with the loss of 80 jobs.
Nobody from the company was available to comment last night about when it would cease to trade from the site.
Councillor Barry Bellerby said he hoped that by allowing Tesco to trade from the site it would not have a detrimental effect on Billingham town centre.
He said: "I hope Asda will grasp the nettle and say we will take you on and take over the bigger site in the town centre."
Tesco refused to comment on when they would begin to trade or how many jobs would be created.