Outside of Grantham Tesco is ‘like Glastonbury’

The mess in Keats Avenue outside the Tesco Express store.
The mess in Keats Avenue outside the Tesco Express store.
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A Tesco Express store in Grantham is coming under fire once again over the same issue reported in the Journal over a year ago.

Neighbours of the Harrowby Lane store are fed-up with unsightly muddy verges where customers are parking their vehicles. Added to that, delivery lorries are unable to gt in or out of the entrance, located in Keats Avenue, without mounting the kerb as they swing sharply to the right.

Fighting the corner for residents is county Councillor Linda Wootten. She brokered talks between Lincolnshire County Council, as the highways authority, and Tesco headquarters in January last year, coming up with several ideas to relieve the issue.

She said: “Ideas suggested were wooden rails on the verges or double yellow lines. Both were dismissed, but a proposal I put forward to obtain parking at the front of the store was found acceptable, subject to surveys, to both the highways authority and Tesco. Initially cost was a barrier but Tesco came up with a budget but will not comply with the legal requirements of the highways planning regulation, to put in a detailed plan and engineering report. Hence we are now at stalemate.”

Coun Wootten puts the root of the problem down to a relaxation in planning regulation, which allows retail firms to take over pubs with no need to apply for ‘change of use’ permission, therefore opening stores without being able to place conditions on their operation. Previously, it was the Cherry Tree pub.

Coun Wootten said: “I believe lessons should be learned from this case. Keats Avenue is a residential area and not designed for HGV movements, which is the mode of transport for Tesco deliveries. There is insufficient parking at the store when delivery takes place, as often two lorries turn up at the same time. That pushes parking on to the road and verges. No thought went into the logistics of heavy lorry manoeuvres entering on to this site.”

Coun Wootten added: “The whole area around the Tesco Store is an utter disgrace. At the moment it’s like the aftermath of Glastonbury, a mud bath, and Tesco must clean up their act.”

Coun Wootten is backed up by district Coun Bruce Wells, who himself lives in Keats Avenue. He fears pedestrians could trip on the dislodged kerb stones and fall into the road. He added: “This has been going on for two years. Something has to be done.”

Tesco spokesman Mark Thomas said: “We’re sorry that this issue has not yet been resolved and we are actively investigating the problem. We welcome discussions with councillors.”