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Town Hall is thrown supermarket lifeline’ by Tesco

PUBLISHED: 21:50 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:24 05 October 2010

THE Tesco supermarket giant has revealed plans to open a store on the former site of Morrisons in Bow as part of a new East London housing development. Its board of directors has agreed to move in if developers get planning permission for the site off Roman Road. But widespread opposition remains, despite Tesco’s announcement of opening a medium-sized Metro’ store two years after Morrisons closed its Roman Road supermarket

Ted Jeory

THE Tesco supermarket giant has revealed plans to open a store on the former site of Morrisons in Bow as part of a new East London housing development.

Its board of directors has agreed to move in if developers get planning permission for the site off Roman Road.

Reef Estates are presenting their plans to Tower Hamlets council's special planning committee next Thursday (July 10).

But widespread opposition remains, despite Tesco's announcement of opening a medium-sized 'Metro' store two years after Morrisons closed its Roman Road supermarket.

Objectors are concerned at the number of new luxury houses panned and the height of a proposed 10-storey tower.

Neighbours in the nearby Cardigan Road conservation area, including former Tower Hamlets mayor Ann Jackson, are against the plans.

The council's new housing chief Marc Francis is also against the proposed height of the tower.

Before his rise to the cabinet in May, Cllr Francis was working with campaigners who say they've now raised 3,000 objections.

Campaign spokesman Alan Tucker even presented a deputation at last week's council meeting when he said the level of objections was "unprecedented."

This week he welcomed the Tesco decision, but added: "There's no sign that the developers are listening.

"The proposed tower dwarfs the surrounding properties.

"Everybody wants a new supermarket, but not a development that wipes out the entire car park."

Cllr Francis, to cries of "cop out" from the public gallery, told the meeting: "We are acutely conscious of both the desperate need for a supermarket in Roman Road and the concerns of residents about the proposed redevelopment."

Meanwhile, council environment chiefs have revealed that Reef Estates ignored a statutory notice to clean up the former Morrisons-Safeway car park, which has become an eyesore and a fly-tippers' paradise.

The council says further enforcement action would now be taken.

Reef Estates did not respond to questions from the Advertiser on the issue.

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