Tesco confirms Hitchin Top Field approach, as developers remain tight lipped

A SUPERMARKET giant has confirmed it has been approached by developers who want to build on a football club’s ground.

Tesco confirmed that it had been asked by New Road (Clifton) Ltd if it would be interested in building a superstore on Top Field, where Hitchin Town Football Club is based.

It follows an announcement earlier this month in which owners of the land, the Hitchin Cow Commoners Trust, said it was looking to redevelop the site and move the football club to a new ground on Green Belt land in St Ippolyts.

A spokesman from Tesco, who echoed comments made to the Comet two weeks ago that the chain had “no commitments” to Hitchin, said that the company would not comment any further.

Tesco’s rival, Asda, was rumoured to be another contender for the Top Field site, but the chain said that it could not recollect being approached by either New Road or its agent.

A spokesman told the Comet: “We have no recollection of being offered this piece of land and have no intention of developing another store in Hitchin.”

Meanwhile, many interested parties, including New Road, have remained tight-lipped over the proposals to relocate the football ground and what could be built in its place.

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The Comet tried to contact New Road’s company director Mr Daniels, who was away and, according to a company employee and family member, not able to be contacted. Others at the company said they were unable to comment.

And the company’s agent, Mr Murdoch from Moult Walker, did not respond to messages left.

Cllr Richard Thake, who is a county councillor, the new vice chairman of Hitchin area committee and a trustee of the cow commoners, said that he had been advised by officers at North Herts District Council (NHDC) that it would be inappropriate to comment.

NHDC also said that it could not comment on proposals without seeing a planning application, but that once one was submitted, it would.