Mid Wales

Tesco to resubmit Machynlleth store plans

No Tesco pumpkin lanterns from 2008
Image caption There have been objections to the store in Machynlleth

Grocery giant Tesco is to resubmit plans for a new store in Powys, it has confirmed.

The firm is withdrawing its current proposals for Machynlleth after the assembly government expressed concerns about road safety.

Tesco said it would "revisit its plans in the light of issues raised by the public and officials" in the assembly.

The company plans to create 140 full and part-time jobs in the town.

The supermarket is earmarked for a site in Machynlleth, but assembly government officials became involved because it is on a trunk road.

They said the development would compromise safety for road users.

Among the reasons for refusing the application, the assembly government said Tesco had failed to "demonstrate safe and appropriate links for pedestrians and cyclists between the store and the town's central core at Heol Maengwyn".

They said "forward visibility around the wall of St Peter's churchyard is considerably substandard", and a "proposal to signalise the clocktower junction would necessitate departures from national design standards, which may potentially compromise safety".

Mark Thorne of Tesco said: "We have had a very positive response from the town particularly from those who wish to see regeneration on the site and those who travel miles to do their main food shopping.

"We are going to take the opportunity to revisit our plans in the light of issues raised by the public and by the National Assembly for Wales.

"We regret the delay but agree that it is important submit the best possible application.

"We will resubmit our new plans in the near future as we cannot deal with changes in the scope of the present application."

Mr Thorne added: "We know the great majority of local Machynlleth people appreciated our approach and consultation, including the town council, and all provided useful comments which we have taken on board.

"We will submit a further new planning application to the council which will take in comments received from the assembly so that all issues are resolved."

There have been objections to the planned development, including worries it could jeopardise small independent shops.

In 2008, there was a protest by local people who carved "No Tesco" in pumpkins.

A Powys council spokesman said the council had received notification that the assembly government was directing refusal on highway grounds.

"This and other planning issues will be considered by the planning committee next week," said the spokesman.

"Tesco withdrew its application for a store in Machynlleth on Tuesday. This application was due to be presented to the council's planning committee next week (29 June)."

At present, some people in Machynlleth travel 18 miles (28.9km) to shop at a supermarket in Aberystwyth, even though the town has smaller food stores.

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