Stoke store approval triggers debate on town centre threat

Supermarket giant Tesco has defended its stance after a row broke out between two neighbouring councils over the impact of redeveloping one of its stores.

Proposals for the Trent Vale store were approved by Stoke City Council. However, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council feels that the project's close proximity will have a detrimental impact by drawing people away from its town centre.

Tesco corporate affairs manager Tony Fletcher said: "We believe that the section 106 offsetting from this project will have a positive effect on both centres. The existing store is 28 years old and in need of replacement and the new store will provide more space and a wider range of goods."

Stoke City Council leader Ross Irving insisted: "The approval of the application was not in any way designed to undermine Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre's current level of business."

A Newcastle-under-Lyme spokeswoman responded: "We will discuss the planning application for the Trent Vale store at a meeting this month and consider the implications should the secretary of state decide to call in the application."

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