Long-awaited and much-needed demolition work at the site of a stalled supermarket development will start next month – to the delight and relief of residents.
Tesco has announced that it will clear the eyesore plot of its delayed Amble eco-store, which is earmarked for land north of Queen Street and adjacent to The Braid, from mid-August.
On Tuesday, a Tesco spokesman told the Gazette: “We’re conscious of our responsibilities as a good neighbour in Amble and over previous months have been careful to secure and maintain our site on a regular basis.
“Having spoken to the community about the site earlier this year, it was clear that residents were keen for us to demolish the remaining buildings.
“We’ve been preparing the site for this process in the meantime, shutting off utility connections and carrying out routine surveys, and we’re now in a position where we can start demolition in mid-August.
“I hope that this shows how determined we are to be a positive part of the Amble community.”
The site is plagued by derelict buildings and has been a source of complaint from residents. Those living nearby have said that the situation is so bad, they have been unable to sell their properties.
The demolition news has come as a welcome relief.
A spokeswoman of the North Street and North View Residents’ Association said: “It is about time. We have waited so long for this. We are absolutely delighted. It has been detrimental to the area.”
The spokeswoman thanked Coun Peter Robinson and Eileen Williams for their support.
Amble Town Council has also been working to resolve the demolition issue.
NO DATE FOR PLANS
While demolition work is set to start in August, Tesco still does not have a date for its revised supermarket plans to go out for public consultation.
The long-drawn-out saga has rumbled on for more than a year and the retail giant continues to drag its feet on producing an amended bid.
Tesco was due to commence work on the store in spring 2013 – after a previous start date was pushed back – but made an eleventh-hour decision to amend the development, halting progress. It originally said that consultation would commence in the autumn of 2013.
In February, there was renewed hope that consultation was imminent, with Tesco saying it was looking at a date in April.
But still nothing has happened.
And on Tuesday, a spokesman for the supermarket giant said: “We are considering our timescales for consulting on revised plans for our new store and will provide an update as soon as possible.”