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Tesco build ‘set to start this spring’

Tesco are on course to start construction on their Extra store at Bridgewater Park this spring.

A spokesman for the company confirmed to the Leader that, planning consents aside, plans are underway to start building within months, with the aim of opening in the autumn.

The store will create over 250 jobs, the spokesman added.

The announcement will be welcomed by a number of public representatives who backed the store, after it was subject to several legal bids which substantially delayed the project.

Tesco had first shown interest in opening a store at Bridgewater in 2007.

In the seven years since, the project had been marred by controversy.

An application to allow the company to press ahead with its development plans was approved by Banbridge District Council in March 2011.

The decision prompted a number of town centre traders to express concerns the introduction of the store would take trade out of Banbridge.

But proceedings were brought to a standstill after the Northern Ireland Independent Retailers and Traders Association lodged a judicial review application that same year.

However, it was later withdrawn in 2012, enabling Tesco to press ahead.

Speaking two years’ ago, a council spokesperson said the Tesco Extra store would “enhance the district’s infrastructure”.

The spokesperson added, “The council is keen to make sure that the new Tesco extra store complements the retail offering in Banbridge town centre and plans to work with all parties to ensure the new development at Bridgewater Park is mutually beneficial to all.”

That message was reiterated by Tesco’s spokesman, who said, “We are excited to be taking forward plans for a new Tesco Extra in Banbridge at Bridgewater Park.

“The store represents a multi-million pound investment in the local area and will create over 250 jobs.

“Providing we get the necessary planning consents, we hope to start work on site in spring and welcome our first customers through the doors by the end of this year.”

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