Lincolnshire County Council takes Tesco to court over ‘mud bath’ outside Grantham store

Muddy verges on Keats Avenue outside the Tesco Express store.

Muddy verges on Keats Avenue outside the Tesco Express store.

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Legal action is being taken by Lincolnshire County Council against Tesco after a long-running dispute over muddy verges remains unresolved.

The issue over land being churned up on Keats Avenue, Grantham due to customers parking and HGVs delivering to the Harrowby Lane Tesco Express, was first reported in the Journal back in 2013.

The state of the verges on Keats Avenue yesterday.

The state of the verges on Keats Avenue yesterday.

In a statement Mark Heaton, LCC’s area highways manager, said: “I can confirm that the county council is preparing court proceedings in regard to damages to the highway in the vicinity of Tesco Express on Keats Avenue.”

The problems arose after the conversion of the premises from The Cherry Tree pub in 2012, for which Tesco didn’t need to apply for ‘change of use’ and consult with the Highways Authority.

County councillor for Grantham East and district coun for the ward, Linda Wootten, has been involved in attempts to find a solution, and previously described the state of the land as ‘a mud bath’ and ‘like the aftermath of Glastonbury’. She expressed her disappointment that it has got to this point. “I’m not pleased LCC has had to take legal action,” she said. “My idea was to get all the parties together to find a way around it without legal action.

“I brokered talks between the management at Tescos and Highways. We actually came up with a plan aimed at solving some of the problems. Tesco had a figure that they put forward towards the cost of the work, but they didn’t come up with an engineering report to back up the work.”

At this stage LCC could not provide an estimation of court costs. Coun Wootten added: “It is going to cost quite a lot of money” and said plans including potential expenditure were currently being drawn up by Highways.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are aware of the problem and are working towards a solution. We will be sure to keep the community updated”.