A SUPERMARKET chain has asked for more time to plan an expansion to a superstore.

Developers for Tesco Extra in Baldock have applied to North Herts District Council (NHDC) to grant them more time so they can develop the plans which were granted in 2009.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We have a very busy development programme and we can’t build out all our stores at the same time. Therefore, some have to take priority over others which means some are delayed. Since we won planning permission to expand the Baldock store, many things have changed including our design plans, so we are reviewing these before we start building.

“The Baldock store is busy and popular with our customers but they tell us they sometimes can’t get everything they need. We want to serve them better so by expanding the store we will be able to bring a better range of products, more jobs and a more enjoyable shopping experience.”

The new plans include a pedestrian ramp on to the High Street and redesign of the memorial gardens. The store currently has around 900 car parking spaces but under the extended plans, car park spaces will be reduced to 676.

A total of 11 letters of objection have been received from residents who live near to the supermarket. An NHDC report says the grounds of objection are the increased pollution from the proposed combined heat and power plant and the increase in bulk storage area, its relocation closer to residents and the increase in HGV movements.

The report goes on to say that the applicant’s noise assessment is inadequate as it was a one day sample in January. The report goes on to say the readings were not taken at night when noise levels from delivery vehicles is already noticeable to local residents.

Other concerns raised were the proposed 21 car parking spaces to be allocated for local traders would be very close to 18 The Rowans.

At present these spaces are not used and if they are, hours of use should be limited and there should be no large vehicles or refrigeration. Other issues highlighted in the report suggest deliveries and HGV movement take place all through the night and that cars race around the rear car park also during the night time hours.

The application proposes less car parking spaces for the town as a whole with an extended store, leading to claims this will increase car parking congestion problems in the High Street and people visiting the town may need to park in residential streets further afield.

A decision on whether more time will be granted will take place at the meeting of the planning control committee on September 13 at NHDC.