In Devon, Torrington's "store wars" story took a new twist this week when Tesco withdrew its application for a major foodstore on the Vicarage Field site - and replaced it with one for a smaller development. Local residents mounted a concerted campaign against the original application because of its proposed siting on the recreational land, which would have meant the relocation of the town's football ground, swimming pool and a children's play area. A consultants' study submitted to Torridge District Council recently described the proposal for a 2,788 square metre store as "out of scale with Torrington." In terms of size, a rival application by Somerfields for a 1,115 square metre store in School Lane "would be adequate to provide a quality foodstore," said the report. Tesco's new application is sticking to the Vicarage Field site, but significantly scaling down on size.
Felix Gummer, Tesco corporate affairs manager, said: "Tesco has withdrawn the current application for a 30,000 square feet foodstore and replaced it with an application for a much smaller store. This is in direct response to concerns raised by local residents. Tesco are in the process of finalising all the details of the new scheme and will be releasing these in full within the coming weeks. However, I can confirm that the new application is significantly smaller and in sales floorspace terms, it is almost 40 per cent smaller."
Blimey! Tesco reacting to residents concerns? More likely they want to prevent Somerfield getting permission, then they will increase the size of the store later.