Councillors agree to sell part of South Molton car park to Tesco
SOUTH Molton could end up with two major supermarkets in the town centre following a decision by North Devon Council s Executive today (Tuesday). Councillors agreed to sell part of the central car park to Tesco for around �3million. The supermarket giant
SOUTH Molton could end up with two major supermarkets in the town centre following a decision by North Devon Council's Executive today (Tuesday).
Councillors agreed to sell part of the central car park to Tesco for around �3million. The supermarket giant already owns adjoining land at Norrington's Yard.
And it emerged that Sainsbury's, which has bought the town's Somerfield store, has also expressed an interest in moving to a car park site. It is understood that informal discussions have taken place already.
And a third firm - Morrisons - has also expressed an interest in opening in the town if it can acquire an appropriate site.
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If Sainsburys pursues its interest, it would hasten the move of the town's cattle market from the central car park area to an out of town site at Pathfields.
This interest in South Molton by supermarket firms prompted the council Executive to announce a review of its development brief for the town centre.
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Mrs Diana Hill, head of property and technical services, said if Tesco received planning permission for a store, it would not necessarily mean the loss of any parking spaces.
It had been agreed that the management of the car park would remain in the hands of the local authority, she said. Motorists would get the first two hours free.
"Food store operators know where they can make a profit. It must be good for South Molton that they showing such interest in the town," she said.
The Tesco deal will be controversial. In 2005, a protest group, Residents Against Tesco - or RATS - was formed to campaign to keep the firm out.