Councillor voices concern as Tesco plans expansion
Plans are being drawn up to more than double the size of the Tesco supermarket in Weston three years after it first opened.
The Tesco Express store in the High Street is set to expand in a project which would see it become a larger Metro.
The adjacent buildings already have retail status so no planning permission is needed, and the supermarket giant is expected to make its move when the current leases run out, possibly in the new year.
A spokeswoman for Tesco confirmed the expansion plans but stressed it was a scheme being put forward by developer Bathweston One Ltd, which owns the buildings.
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She said: "We are aware of a local developer's proposal to improve their High Street site.
"If approved by the council, we would be interested in extending our Express store as it is extremely popular with customers.
"We currently serve more than 8,000 shoppers each week and many tell us that they would like a wider choice of essential items. A large number also say that they want a more spacious shopping environment.
"Increasing the size of our Weston store will better meet our customers' needs and could encourage even more people to shop locally."
The Chronicle has attempted to contact the developer and owner of the buildings, Bathweston One Ltd, through its agent WYG Planning and Design, but that firm declined to comment. Councillor Colin Barrett (Con, Weston) said he was concerned about the impact an expanded Tesco would have on other shops in the area.
He said: "Over the past couple of years we have come to a compromise with Tesco about what they sell and what they don't sell, and we now have quite a nice working relationship.
"But what concerns us now is what effect the Metro could have on the rest of the shops in the village. We just can't take it in the village.
"I have told them I will object very strongly to what they are proposing."
Mr Barrett added that he believed the scheme would see a reduction in the existing car park to build new flats, something he was also opposed to.
He added: "We already have a problem with parking in the village and this would make it worse."
Meanwhile, a new Tesco Express is due to open in a former City of Bath College building in Westgate Buildings next Friday.
It is expected to create 20 jobs.