Harrogate wait for Tesco to come
Tesco owns a large plot of land off Ripon Road on the site of the former New Park gas works, the Harrogate Advertiser can reveal. But the £2billion-a-year company, under official investigation for 'land banking,' says it will only buy land if it plans to develop it in the future. The Land Registry shows Tesco paid nearly £3 million for the site when the contract changed hands three-and-a-half years ago but since then the land has remained undeveloped. A company spokesman was unable to confirm or deny that Tesco owned the plot and said he could not reveal any plans to build on it at the moment. One local businessman told the Advertiser he had approached Tesco to ask if he could purchase the land, but the company told him it was not for sale.
Tesco currently owns around 260, or 81 per cent, of the 319 land banks held by the Big Four and takes almost a third of all grocery sales, but Friends of the Earth claims that could rocket to 45 per cent if it built on all the sites it owns.