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Big plans for Watton Tesco

PUBLISHED: 12:29 25 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:06 08 July 2010

Ian Clarke

The Tesco store in Watton will almost double in size if plans by the company are approved by Breckland councillors.

The retail giant wants to increase its sales area at the Thetford Road shop by 909 sq metres to 2021 sq metre and there would be more food ranges sold as well as non food items.

The Tesco store in Watton will almost double in size if plans by the company are approved by Breckland Council.

The company wants to increase the sales area at its Thetford Road shop by 909sq m to 2021sq m, and a wider food range would be sold, as well as non-food items.

The number of parking spaces would increase from 152 to 171.

A draft agreement has been drawn up as part of the planning discussions that would involve Tesco giving £140,000 towards transport improve-ments in the town.

And the scheme would involve improving access for vehicles and pedestrians, installing a barrier to stop the car park being used when the store is shut, and CCTV.

BrecklandCouncil's development control committee is being advised by officers to approve the scheme when it meets next Monday.

Some local people are worried about noise and disturbance, the opening hours, lighting, landscaping, security and pedestrian access. Watton Town Council has not objected but has commented about the construction work.

A planning officers' report says: “Whilst the proposals would result almost in a doubling in the size of retail floorspace, it is considered that the development is of an appropriate scale, bearing in mind the role and function of Watton town centre.”

Planners argue that the Tesco store, which has been in Watton since 1997, is relatively small and only offers “top-up shopping”, while an extended store would keep people in Watton for their weekly shopping rather than going to Dereham and Thetford.

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