Manningtree: Work to start early next year on controversial Tesco store

Plans for the new Tesco store in Manningtree have been criticised.

Plans for the new Tesco store in Manningtree have been criticised. - Credit: PA

Work on a controversial new multi-million pound Tesco store in Manningtree will begin next year it has been revealed, despite planning permission for the site expiring next month.

Planning permission was granted for the site on Station Road three years ago, but progress appeared to have stallled in recent months.

Now Tendring District Council (TDC) has revealed that talks between Carlo Guglielmi, Cabinet member for Planning and Corporate Services, and the supermarket chain happened on Wednesday, where the majority of the nine pre-conditions from the planning consent have been met, and the remainder close to being signed off.

However, planning permission expires in the middle of November, leaving question marks over when work may begin.

Chris Bowden, chair of Stour Community First, which has been against the proposals, is not convinced.

“I am not convinced either way that they are definitely going to start, or definitely won’t, but we still maintain that Manningtree doesn’t need a second supermarket.

“The high street is doing well, we still have a market and we have a Co-Op. This isn’t about Tesco, it’s about the principal of a second supermarket.”

Concerns have been raised since planning permission was granted that the construction of a new store will leave local businesses out of pocket, and increase traffic around the town.

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Lee Lay-Flurrie, chair of Manningtree Town Council, is a staunch defender of local businesses and against the proposed store, and while Manningtree Town Council has not expressed a position for or against, her personal view is that the store may not be needed.

She said, “We have got little shops in Manningtree which is something I feel strongly about. My fear is that with a big Tesco they could lose out. There are lots of concerns.”

Mr Bowden added, “Tesco may well stick a spade in the ground but I think they need to be starting this sooner if they are going to do it.”

Counciilor Guglielmi said, “In effect, Tesco are in a position to start on site soon and I have been told that will be early next year. I am hoping to be presented with a more definite timetable of works soon and I will be making that public as soon as I have it.”