BREAKING NEWS: Tesco confirm they are to pull out of Chatteris for good and no longer want a store in Whittlesey

11:35 08 January 2015

Tesco, Chatteris.

Tesco, Chatteris.

Archant

Tesco dropped the bombshell today that they will not open in Chatteris and have also dropped plans for a store in Whittlesey.

David Lewis, chief executive officer for Tesco, delivered the news in an email to Fenland Council leader John Clark.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing today that we are unable to proceed with 49 new planned store developments across the county, including our planned stores in Chatteris and Whittlesey,” said Mr Lewis.

“I am very sorry that we have not been able to deliver the investment that we intended. I know this news will be a real disappointment to many people in your community and we are extremely grateful for the support we have received for our plans.”

Cllr Clark said: “We are extremely disappointed by this news. I am seeking an urgent meeting with Tesco to find out precisely what their intentions are.”

Tesco mothballed the Chatteris store last year just as it was completed and with an expected opening date prior to Christmas.

But the maelstrom surrounding the industry generally – and turmoil over Tesco’s drop in profits – prompted the decision not to open.

Tesco’s decision to pull out of opening their new Fenland stores – and to close 40 others across the UK- was blamed by Mr Lewis on the company’s performance which he said “has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be”.

He told the Fenland Council leader: “As a result the financial resources we have available for new investment are severely constrained and we have had to critically review all current and future investment decisions.”

He said his “absolute imperative” was to protect the 300,000 people who work for Tesco and in recent weeks had faced “very tough decisions which affect many hard working people”.

He promised to work closely with Fenland Council “to find the right solution for your community. We will be seeking alternative tenants for the unit at Chatteris and are working with the developer from whom we were intending to lease the store in Whittlesey to agree a way forward”.

He promised Cllr Clark that Tesco officials would be in touch by phone shortly “to answer your questions”.

Both the Chatteris store in Fenland Way and the proposed Tesco in Station Road, Whittlesey, had been promoted by Manea based Harrier Developments. Tesco had also wanted to switch their proposed Whittlesey store to Eastrea Road and fought a lengthy battle with March developer Bruce Smith who had promoted a Sainsbury’s store and country park nearby. Tesco’s decision now leaves Sainsbury’s in the driving seat at Whittlesey and they have recently re-submitted an amended their planning application for the Eastrea store to take account of access modifications.

5 comments

  • Good, Most of the town did not vote for a Tesco supermarket when they conducted a poll at the last but one town election anyway. . Now let a decent company have it. Morrisons do more for the environment and community than Tesco ever thought about. They are also a much better employee and are still owned and operated as a family concern not a multi conglomerate working for share greedy conglomerates.

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    Honor Kennedy

    Friday, January 9, 2015

  • While I view with dismay the fact that tesco will not open the Chatteris development, I also think it is a golden opportunity for either a new lesiure centre type of development, maybe a cinema or some sort of pub restaurant complex, even a skate board park. Chatteris is a town with few leisure facilities like this could offer, and and this is a brown field site which may not require much modification. perhaps some compensation from tescos in lieu of broken job promises, and modification to that awful small roundabout, so lorries can get through without mounting the curb. it would certainly bring in jobs and money from miles around. the nearest cinema is Wisbeach or Huntingdon, or even a bus depot. that would do wonders for Chatteris. After all there are alternative shops and things in town, the coop is being replace by Aldi, or some such, so it is not like we need multiple supermarkets. Lets plan properly for the future here.

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    Steve Campbell

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

  • While I view with dismay the fact that tesco will not open the Chatteris development, I also think it is a golden opportunity for either a new lesiure centre type of development, maybe a cinema or some sort of pub restaurant complex, even a skate board park. Chatteris is a town with few leisure facilities like this could offer, and and this is a brown field site which may not require much modification. perhaps some compensation from tescos in lieu of broken job promises, and modification to that awful small roundabout, so lorries can get through without mounting the curb. it would certainly bring in jobs and money from miles around. the nearest cinema is Wisbeach or Huntingdon, or even a bus depot. that would do wonders for Chatteris. After all there are alternative shops and things in town, the coop is being replace by Aldi, or some such, so it is not like we need multiple supermarkets. Lets plan properly for the future here.

    Report this comment

    Steve Campbell

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

  • Mr Powell I believe your comment above is very narrow minded! Your complaining about the tesco building when you have a very busy bypass and an oil company also at the bottom of your garden?! Also saying you hope they go bust is disgusting! 300,000 employees work for tesco, I suppose you want them out of jobs? Yet I'm sure you would be first in line to condemn any of their former employees from signing on and claiming benefits from your hard earned tax payer money?! Get a grip! My only concern with regards to this is that the coop is also closing mid February. This will leave locals especially the elderly or people who don't drive with the option of a very overpriced and small budgens in the middle of town and a lidlaldi where people can't get their groceries delivered ect. Not to mention the loss of people's jobs at the coop!

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    Anne Ryans

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

  • Now if only they'd return the land to fields and get rid of that eyesore at the bottom of our garden. Furious & hope Tesco goes bust. The way they treat communities is disgusting.

    Report this comment

    Andy Powell

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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