Supermarket giant Tesco looks to have switched the sights of its heavy guns in Sunderland from the controversial Vaux Brewery plot to a retail park close to the Stadium of Light football stadium.
The retail behemoth has been battling for years with Sunderland City Council over the former brewery site next to the Wear, a spat which saw CZWG’s Piers Gough and Tesco’s original architect Michael Aukett lock horns.
Last November the council-backed mixed-use proposals by Gough won the green light from both the Secretary of State and the planning inspector (AJ online 08.11.07) and Tesco is currently funding a High Court challenge to try and overturn the decisions.
Now it appears the supermarket chain is eyeing other spots in the town and has started consulting on a move on to the Sunderland Retail Park site north of the River Wear – although the official line is that the Vaux Brewery is still being ‘discussed’.
Intriguingly, the AJ has learned that Tesco is not only using architects 3DReid to deliver the new store but it has also emerged that the practice has replaced Michael Aukett Architects on the Vaux development and will work on any future scheme there.
The news follows rumours that Allies and Morrison has taken over another Michael Aukett Tesco scheme, this time in Dartford.
Poor old Michael.