Tesco: ‘Our plan is back on track’

Tesco Harrogate artist's impression.
Tesco Harrogate artist's impression.

Tesco’s new Harrogate superstore will be open by Christmas 2015, the company has confirmed.

The supermarket giant said it is ‘back on track’ to deliver a superstore at New Park and dismissed the Harrogate Chamber of Trade claims the site had been ‘on hold.’

Preliminary schedules show the developers hope to start building work towards the end of 2014 with a 12 month build, meaning the new superstore should be open in late 2015.

Last year Tesco confirmed they would not start building work until after the Tour de France to ensure there would be no potential disruption.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We had paused our work in Harrogate to make sure there was no disruption to the Tour de France and that the event could be as successful as possible.

“We’re now back on track and are hoping to begin toward the end of this year. “

Tesco was granted planning permission for the site in 2011 and despite work being scheduled to being in a matter of weeks the Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce made a last ditch attempt to halt the development and have called for the supermarket to withdraw it’s plans.

Chamber vice-president and managing director of town centre retailer Jespers, Peter Jesper said: “It is almost three years since Tesco was given the green light for a new superstore at New Park and, for many of us, the inactivity and lack of news suggested the issue had gone away. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

“The New Park site is also located next to two major roads which are already heavily congested, and there is evidence of protected species living in the surrounding area.

“We still strongly believe that this is not a suitable place for a new superstore.”

Despite traffic concerns New Park’s County Coun Don Mackenzie said he supports the plans.

“I welcome the news that Tesco will finally make a start on the construction of their superstore.