Second store held threat to town centre viability

Permission has been denied for a Tesco food store in Lancashire after an inspector concluded that further food shopping capacity would undermine a town centre.

The council had granted permission for another store across the road from the appeal site. It claimed that allowing the 2,000 square metre appeal scheme as well would undermine the viability of the town centre, which contained a Co-op supermarket.

The inspector agreed that the town needed a large food store to meet main food shopping needs and claw back a significant loss of expenditure to larger centres. But he concluded that if both stores went ahead, they would be competing for all the available expenditure in the catchment area.

He feared this outcome would result in the Co-op store trading significantly below company average levels, which might put its future in doubt, and diminish the number of linked shopping trips between the store and the rest of the town centre. He concluded that the Tesco scheme was likely to have a substantial impact on the town's vitality and reduce its role as a community hub.

Inspector: Philip Asquith; Hearing

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