Tesco pledges to clear up overgrown Oakham plot

Overgrown land between Tesco and Penn Street, Oakham. EMN-150510-112250001

Overgrown land between Tesco and Penn Street, Oakham. EMN-150510-112250001

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A supermarket firm has agreed to clear part of an area of land it had earmarked for development after complaints from neighbours.

People living in Penn Street, Oakham, and particularly in the Saville Court complex, have made repeated requests to Tesco to clear debris from a plot next to their homes.

The land, between the Tesco store in South Street and Penn Street, was originally part of the firm’s expansion plans and would have become a car park. But Tesco dropped those plans in the summer, just weeks after Sainsbury’s shelved its plans to open in the town.

Since then, the plot has become an overgrown eyesore, with piles of waste material at various points.

But after months of inaction, Tesco has now responded to residents’ complaints and prompting from Rutland County Council and promised to clear part of the land by the end of February.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are in co-operative discussions with the council concerning our site at Oakham and, per our recent meeting in December, will be performing maintenance works there by the end of February.

“We are looking at a range of alternative uses for the site and will keep the community updated with further news.”

Tesco confirmed in October that it wanted to sell the land.

According to an e-mail seen by the Mercury, the council has asked Tesco to remove a pile of waste to the north east corner of the site which comprises cut down trees and other vegetation, fencing materials and “inorganic” materials.

Another pile was found to be a mound of earth and will not be removed.

Ray Stace, who lives in Saville Court, has been trying to get the site cleared for months. He said: “While this is potentially good news, we have received statements of intent from Tesco over the many months of this dispute and are sceptical of the outcome until Tesco honour their word and, if not, the council carries out its threat of enforcement action.”

He added: “One step at a time, let’s first see if Tesco really cares.”