“Tesco is taking over the town!”
Those are the views of an angry councillor after it was revealed another Tesco will be opening in Leyland.
Coun Caleb Tomlinson fought plans by a company called 3639 Ltd to build a convenience store on the corner of Canberra Road and Turpin Green Lane.
Now, just weeks after South Ribble Council’s planning committee gave the proposals the green light, it has been announced that a Tesco Express will be opening there.
Coun Tomlinson said: “Tesco is taking over Leyland.
“I think the wool has been pulled over our eyes with this one, and I suspect it was always intended for this site to become a Tesco.
“People in the area didn’t want a convenience store there because of the scale of the building, but they will be up in arms about this new development.
“I want to know if the council’s planning committee would have passed the plans if they knew it was going to contribute to the ‘Tesco-ization’ of Leyland.” The new store will be Leyland’s fourth Tesco shop, including the Tesco Extra on Towngate, and the two Tesco Express stores on Leyland Lane and Pendle Road.
There is also one in nearby Buckshaw Village.
Marie McCall, who lives on Turpin Green Lane, said: “Leyland is going to become Tesco city.
“How many more do they want here?
“It seems there’s one round every corner.”
She added: “We already have one small convenience store on Canberra Road and one on Turpin Green Lane, so we don’t need anymore.”
Council leader Margaret Smith said: “I don’t know how you can find out who is hiding behind the smoke-screen when considering planning applications. Tesco is a very aggressive company, and they do have a number of stores in Leyland, so they must feel that they can cope with it all.
“It’s not an easy situation but people will shop there; that’s what they do.”
A spokesman for Tesco said the original consent was gained by the developer, 3639 Ltd, and then Tesco registered interest.
Douglas Wilson, Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager, said: “We are looking forward to opening our new Tesco Express in Leyland, and we are keen to progress quickly with the building works although we do not have a confirmed opening date yet.
“We believe that the new store will be a great asset to the local area and will bring with it much needed local employment opportunities.
“In our experience a Tesco Express can encourage footfall in an area and can have a positive effect.”
He added: “The new Tesco Express store will bring with it nearly 20 local jobs and a significant further investment in Leyland.”