BUILDING work has started on a new superstore in Stourport, which is due to open towards the end of this year – two years later than originally planned.
Construction of the Tesco store has finally begun on the 45,000 sq ft site off Severn Road and bosses say more than 100 jobs will be created when it is opened.
It has been three years since Wyre Forest District Council’s planning committee gave the supermarket giant’s plans the go-ahead and constant delays had led to rumours it would never get off the ground, despite works taking place on roads surrounding the site.
Tesco corporate affairs manager Simon Petar said: “We will be open by the end of the year and more than 100 jobs will be created – we are really excited.
“We have now started the actual building work for the store and very soon people will start to see the store coming out of the ground. It really is exciting – it is a multi-million pound thumbs up for the area. It will be a really good addition to the town and we cannot wait to play our part in the community.”
Since being launched, the plans have caused concerns among Stourport residents and business owners that the store could hit independent businesses in the town centre by drawing people out of the area and into Tesco instead. There have also been fears it could lead to heavy congestion on surrounding roads, including Mitton Street and Gilgal.
As part of the scheme, Tesco has invested in access roads and a bridge over the River Stour, connecting Severn Road and Discovery Road. The firm also says its new store will attract people into Stourport town.
Mr Petar said: “It is better to get it right rather than rush and we are now really pleased to have started the building works and cannot wait to get it open.
“It won’t be long until people see the frame of the store. There is the additional road we introduced and that will help traffic. This is an approved scheme that people are excited about and we cannot wait to start serving the community.”
After plans were approved in 2011, the store was originally set for a 2012 opening, but was then delayed until 2013. When that did not materialise either, Tesco then said it was due to open this year.
The building work stars as Tesco faces a fresh battle nearby in Areley Kings, where it wants to open an Express convenience store.