Pressure mounts as Shefford Tesco site still stands derelict

Tesco Site in Shefford, which is derelict and used to be a dry cleaners

Tesco Site in Shefford, which is derelict and used to be a dry cleaners - Credit: Archant

PRESSURE is increasing for something to be done about a derelict site in a town centre which has been an eyesore for years.

Tesco bought the land at the junction of Old Bridge Way and the High Street in Shefford, which was formerly home to Spring Grove industrial laundry as well as a scrap metal business, 14 years ago.

Planning has been approved twice for a supermarket - the last application was in 2009 - but the project was held up because a bridge providing access in Churchill Way was not suitable for heavy goods vehicles. This was later rebuilt.

At the same time, Tesco was not able to agree a price on land owned by Daniels Bros (Shefford) Ltd.

Shefford mayor Paul Mackin said: “I suppose it was not viable at that time and Tesco have put it on the back burner. They have carried out various security measures and improved security over the years but visually it is still an eyesore and when you walk along the High Street you can’t miss it.

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“We have made representation to Tesco and also to Central Bedfordshire Council to push the developer to do something with the site. Even if they had flattened it and put up a skate park or just opened it for public use until such time as they wanted to use it, it would have improved the site, but what we would really like is a supermarket.

“I think by sitting on this they have lost a lot of customer goodwill in Shefford.”

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A spokesman for Tesco said: “At present we are still in discussions with the landowner and we hope to resolve these in due course.”

Richard Daniels, of Daniels Bros (Shefford) Ltd, said that negotiations were again continuing as the shop layout requirements for Tesco had changed and these were moving on in a satisfactory way.

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