Anger as Tesco puts centre plans on ice
presentation: Ray Wood, chairman of Eastern Region Unison gas branch, presenting Cllr Irene Walsh with £500 for the Peterborough War Memorial. (METP-21-05-12RH11) A £40 MILLION venture to improve a neighbourhood centre in Peterborough has been delayed because the retailing giant behind the scheme says it has run out of money.
Tesco has shelved plans to build a new superstore replacing the existing one at the Werrington Centre, as well as revamping the shopping area for at least another year, after admitting there was not enough money to complete the scheme.
In January this year the firm said construction would begin on the site at the end of 2012.
John Timothy, corporate affairs manager for the London and South East division said it had taken “longer than anticipated” to get to where the firm is today with holdups due to “technical complications with planners.
Mr Timothy said: “There’s only so
delays: The Ploughman is safe from demolition for now. much money to go around this year and so what we would like to do is still do the Werrington Centre, but it will probably be a few years away.”
“We are very committed to Werrington and it will happen in the next few years. But we are not in a position to start with it, but we are keen to protect the consent so we can build a better shopping environment there.
“We are disappointed not to be able to do it sooner, but the most important thing is we remain 100 per cent committed to Werrington.”
The plan were originally submitted three years ago, and to protect their planning permission a new application was made, which includes the demolition of a toilet block.
Following the announcement, Werrington north councillor John Fox spoke of his frustration over the delays.
He said: “It has been three years since the plans were submitted, and people are starting to think it will not happen.
“I know there has been a hold-up to do with the roundabout, which needs to be built before the supermarket.
“We have one of three big district centres, along with Bretton and Orton. Look how much the other two have improved, and how we have been left behind. The Werrington Centre is filthy and grotty, and the sooner the work begins the better.”
Andrew Simmonds, the landlord at The Ploughman, a pub set to be demolished as part of the plans, said he hoped the delay could help save the pub, and the district’s Post office.
He said: “People are starting to think this won’t go ahead. “I am disappointed there is not a schedule of works that has been put in. I am also urging Tesco to save the pub, and the Post Office. They should talk to the community to find out what the people of Werrington want.”
Picture: ROWLAND HOBSON. THE FUND to create and maintain Peterborough’s new war memorial has been given a £500 boost by local union members.
Ray Wood, the chairman of Eastern Region Unison gas branch, presented the donation at a ceremony in front of the new memorial, in Bridge Street, Peterborough yesterday.
The presentation was also an opportunity for the standards to be installed into their rightful places on the memorial for the first time to make sure the fittings work ahead of their formal use for Remembrance services in November.
George Bennett, of Peterborough Veterans’ Association, said: “Obviously we would like to say a big thank you to Unison but also to the people of Peterborough, who have raised all of the money for the memorial.”