Tesco drops plan to extend Oakham store

Tesco in Oakham.
Tesco in Oakham.

Tesco has confirmed that it will not extend its Oakham store, just weeks after Sainsbury’s dropped plans to open in the town.

A Tesco spokesman said the firm no longer felt the expansion of the store in South Street made business sense.

In light of this and the recent news about Sainsbury’s, a decision by Tesco not to extend its Oakham store appears short sighted and is one they may well regret in future.

Portfolio holder for development Terry King (Con)

He added: “The Oakham superstore does a fantastic job serving both customers and the community and will continue to do so from the existing site.”

Tesco was granted planning permission to extend its Oakham store in 2011. In 2013, the firm said the expansion was on hold while it waited to see what happened with Sainsbury’s plans.

Sainsbury’s confirmed in June that the plan to develop the former Tresham College site was “no longer viable”.

That news came days after discount food chain Aldi, which has planning permission for a 1,485sqm store in Lands’ End Way, said it wanted to add an extra 20 per cent onto the size of its proposed store.

Waitrose also wanted to build a store on the Tresham site, but the land was sold to Sainsbury’s instead. Waitrose revealed plans to build a 21,000 sq ft supermarket on the site currently occupied by Tim Norton Motor Services in Long Row, Oakham, in 2013, but there have been no further developments.

Rutland County Council’s portfolio holder for development Terry King (Con) said: “We are all aware of the challenges facing UK supermarkets as consumer shopping habits change rapidly.

“However, Oakham is a town with a growing population. In light of this and the recent news about Sainsbury’s, a decision by Tesco not to extend its Oakham store appears short sighted and is one they may well regret in future.

“The council is committed to developing Rutland’s retail offering, which is why planning permission was granted for the Tesco extension. We want to encourage more competition and greater choice in both grocery and non-food items for shoppers in the town – something we know residents want to see.”

Aldi’s plans were originally approved in October when councillors voted in favour of the application, despite officers recommending it be refused. More than 250 people were at the meeting.