SIR, — I am writing in response to your recent coverage regarding the empty properties on London Road, St Albans that are currently owned by Tesco. I have recently taken the role of Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager for this region and would like to detail
SIR, - I am writing in response to your recent coverage regarding the empty properties on London Road, St Albans that are currently owned by Tesco.
I have recently taken the role of Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager for this region and would like to detail the steps we are making to improve the appearance of this area of St Albans. We have been in contact with St Albans District Council and Anne Main MP on this issue for over a year since our decision to retain these properties was made following public consultation. While we were keen to quickly refurbish these properties, it became apparent that they required planning permission in order to be returned as houses. Therefore we submitted plans to the council for improvements to these houses as part of our larger application for the retail development in February of this year.
Following the disappointing decision by the council's planning referrals committee to reject our plans for the Eversheds factory site, the plans to renovate the London Road properties were briefly stalled. However, Tesco quickly moved to instruct consultants to appraise the London Road aspect of the refused scheme with a view to it becoming a standalone application. We naturally hope that the council will grant permission for the property improvements and, should consent be granted, we would then ensure they are quickly occupied.
We will be meeting with the council shortly to discuss the London Road properties and we are delighted that both Anne Main and the council appear to be supportive to the principle of our idea to submit a standalone application.
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Tesco still believe that a retail store would be beneficial for both the site and the people of St Albans. Tesco is a retailer and as a company we have vast experience with providing our customers with the supermarket shopping that they require. We are considering our options following the council's decision, but will still endeavour to provide a much-needed supermarket on this site.
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Corporate Affairs Manager, Tesco.