Tenbury's £500k facelift on hold

Above: Coun Ken Pollock can’t see work going ahead without Tesco on board.

Above: Coun Ken Pollock can’t see work going ahead without Tesco on board.

First published in Tenbury Wells by

PLANS to give Tenbury a new look appear to be further away than ever.

A £500,000 scheme to improve pavements and give the town a facelift is now mired in confusion.

If plans had gone ahead as originally envisaged then some of the work would have been done but the project has been continually put back.

The reason for the latest delay is the news that Tesco will not be starting work on its supermarket until 2014 with completion due at some stage in the following year.

It had been intended to undertake the ‘public realm’ project this year at the same time as the work was going ahead on the Tesco store.

Worcestershire County Council which is carrying out the works and put on an exhibition in Tenbury in December, now has to decide what to do.

“It is difficult to see the work being done in two stages,” said Ken Pollock Tenbury’s member on Worcestershire council.

“I cannot see a situation in which the county council will be able to pay for the work and then wait to get its money back from Tesco.”

Under the terms of an agreement that forms part of the planning approval Tesco has agreed to make a major contribution of about £200,000 to the project.

Coun Pollock believes he has secured a commitment from the council that the funds that had been earmarked for Tenbury will still be available if there is a further delay.

And he does not believe there will be a problem with the level of funding being sufficient to undertake the planned work if the scheme slips further.

“We are in such a low inflation environment that I do not think this will be a problem,” he added.

Tony Penn, one of Tenbury’s members for Malvern Hills District Council, where he holds the planning portfolio would like to see some work on the town ahead of the Tesco opening which is set to be more than two years away.

The supermarket giant first submitted a plan to build a store in Tenbury in 2010.

It divided the town and the plan was was initially rejected by MHDC planners. A revised scheme was eventually approved a year ago.

But a further lengthy delay has followed Tesco, which itself did not escape the economic downturn, decided to put the project into its capital programme.

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