TIME is running out for the start of work on the Tesco supermarket in Tenbury.
It is two years since planning permission for the store was given and Tony Penn, who represents Tenbury on Malvern Hills District Council, says all of the conditions to allow a start to be made have not been fulfilled.
This comes at a time when the international chain is facing growing concerns about its drops in profits.
There is still no date for the start of work on the controversial supermarket project in Tenbury.
It had been expected that construction would be underway by now with the store on the old Cattle Market site open for Christmas.
But the international supermarket chain would only provide a very brief and general response when asked by the Advertiser.
“We are continuing to work on timescales for the project and will keep the local community updated,” said James Wiggam from Tesco.
He declined to get into any further discussion when asked if the company was still committed to the project that was first muted four years ago.
As a result of the delay the work on improving the roads, footpaths and public areas in the town will have to be done in two stages.
It had been hoped that it could all be done at the same time but Worcestershire County Council and Tenbury Town Council have decided that the project cannot wait any longer.
Now the work on the part of the town between ‘The Round Market’ and ‘Crow Corner’ is expected to begin by the end of the year.
But the stretch between The Regal and Teme Bridge will have to wait until construction starts on the supermarket as this is being partly funded by Tesco.
“It is very frustrating as this work needs to be done as soon as possible,” said George Price, mayor of Tenbury and a strong supporter of Tesco coming to the town.
“I am still positive and have heard nothing to suggest that Tesco is not still committed to Tenbury but the only thing is that they will not give us a start date.
Tesco has previously estimated that the construction of the store that it is claimed would create more than 100 full and part time jobs will take about nine months.
Ken Pollock, who represents Tenbury on Worcestershire County Council, said that his most recent contact with Tesco led him to believe that there would be no further news for at least two months.
He said the delay inevitably resulted in speculation.
Sarah Thompson, who is chair of the Tenbury Chamber of Trade, also said that she had received no information about the project.
“I just do not know what is happening,” said Sarah Thompson.
“People seem to have stopped talking about Tesco as this has been dragging on for so long.”
Tony Penn who also supports the project said that he still believes that it will go ahead and if work did not start within three years of permission being granted Tesco apply for an extension.
“I have no reason to believe it will not go ahead and remain convinced that Tesco will be good for the town,” he said.
“With all the others things going on I guess Tenbury is not top of their priority list.”