Tesco amends plan for Express store

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UP to 50 new jobs could be created after Tesco submitted a planning application for an Express convenience store in Howdon.

An initial proposal for the site in Churchill Street, currently occupied by empty former police houses, has been altered following complaints from residents living in the area.

The number of retail units has been reduced from seven to four.

One of them will be a Tesco Express and there will also be a Heron Frozen Foods store.

Occupiers have yet to be confirmed for the other two smaller units.

Other changes will see existing trees on the site being preserved.

As a result the parking scheme has been redesigned and the library’s disabled parking spaces will also remain.

And the new buildings have been moved within the site to allow a bigger gap between them and the houses at the rear of the site.

The revised planning application for the proposal has now been submitted to North Tyneside Council.

Tesco’s corporate affairs manager Doug Wilson said: “We have listened to comments made by local people and made the changes.

“We believe the result is a development which will enhance the area, provide shoppers with choice and quality products and create jobs.”

Around 20 jobs would be created by Tesco and up to 30 other people would be needed to work in the other shops planned for the site.

Tesco said it would work closely with training provider Working Links to help local long-term unemployed people compete for jobs.

Prior to the opening of the Express store, Working Links will set up a training programme to help long-term unemployed local people prepare for the application process and working with Tesco.

Lynzee Mitchell, of Working Links, said: “We have worked with Tesco on similar proposals in Gateshead, Seaham, Sunderland and County Durham and it has proved to be very successful.

“The people taking part are guaranteed an interview, but not a job, if they complete the training programme.

“In many cases it has given people an opportunity they did not have before.”

“With other Tesco schemes we have been able to build people’s confidence, help them with their CV and practice interviews.

“It has been a very successful programme and resulted in dozens of people benefiting from fantastic new opportunities.”

Mr Wilson added: “As in all our stores the jobs will be a mix of full and part-time – designed to suit different needs and lifestyles.”