Tesco takes steps to refurbish rundown homes

PUBLISHED: 12:36 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

TESCO has taken the first step towards sprucing up derelict houses adjoining the St Albans site they want to develop. In the wake of the company s failure to get planning permission to build a 6,480 square metres supermarket on the former Evershed s site

TESCO has taken the first step towards sprucing up derelict houses adjoining the St Albans site they want to develop.

In the wake of the company's failure to get planning permission to build a 6,480 square metres supermarket on the former Evershed's site off London Road, Tesco has told the district council it is investigating bringing the houses up to a standard befitting their location.

They have suggested refurbishing them into townhouses which would then be available to buy or let.

It means that Tesco now appears to have acceded to the district council's wish to treat the derelict houses and the supermarket as two separate planning applications.

St Albans council's planning portfolio holder, Cllr Chris Brazier, said he was surprised to get the letter from Tesco but what they were offering was what he had asked them to do - treat the site as two separate applications.

He went on: "Tesco say they have instructed a company to appraise London Road with a view to it becoming a standalone application.

"It is showing a will on their part and I think they are also looking at it more in a political way to keep the residents and objectors like St Albans Civic Society happy."

He pointed out that should Tesco push ahead with the work on the houses, they would have the option of selling them should they wish.

Last month St Albans MP Anne Main wrote to both Tesco and the district council to ask them to take action over the condition of the houses even though the Evershed's site as a whole remains undeveloped.

But Cllr Brazier confirmed that Tesco had been told earlier this year that they either had to submit a planning application or the London Road properties would be repossessed by the council and rented out.

There is still no indication whether Tesco will appeal against the council's decision to refuse planning permission for the supermarket scheme.

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