Wilkinson Eyre has attacked retail giant Tesco after being ditched on a contentious superstore scheme in Sheringham, north Norfolk
The practice told the AJ that it was no longer working on the 1,175m² project, which it succeeded in winning planning for last October, and that a contractor had now been brought in to take the scheme forward.
Tesco had been trying to win approval for a store in the town for more than a decade before Wilkinson Eyre was parachuted onto the project in 2009. A previous scheme was rejected by local councillors and a government planning inspector.
Sebastien Ricard, Director, Wilkinson Eyre said: ‘We are incredibly disappointed by this decision, we developed a very sensitive scheme for the people of Sheringham and were committed to delivering design quality for the town.’
However Martin Young, chief architect at Tesco has played down fears the designs will be ‘dumbed down’. He said: ‘This decision will have no impact on the quality and construction of our Sheringham store, which will be built to the highest design standards that have already been approved by North Norfolk Council.
‘Tesco remains fully committed to pioneering new architectural designs in the future and will continue to work with a wide range of architects to develop exciting new store proposals to ensure we provide a great shopping experience for our customers.’
He added: ‘Through our partnership with Wilkinson Eyre, which was contracted only up to the committee stage, we have successfully provided Sheringham with the best possible store design for the town in accordance with our original brief. Now that the design phase of the project is complete we have invited bids for the delivery phase from a range of architects, including Wilkinson Eyre.’
Previous story (AJ 28.08.2009)
Tesco superstore, Sheringham, Norfolk by Wilkinson Eyre
[First look] Wilkinson Eyre has submitted plans for this new Tesco superstore in Sheringham, north Norfolk
Following extensive consultation, the development has been reduced in size - an original scheme was drawn up by Leicester based Gordon White and Hood - and includes space for ‘small shop units for other businesses’ alongside a new walkway leading to Station Road.
Jim Eyre, director of Wilkinson Eyre Architects, said: ‘We have worked hard to design a store which fits in with Sheringham’s character, using local materials complemented by modern design.
‘The sustainable technologies, designs and materials we’ve used will ensure the store produces 18 per cent less carbon dioxide than required by Government standards, in addition to all the car journeys to Cromer that will be saved.’
Nick Gellatly from Tesco said: ‘We are submitting these plans because so many people want a Tesco in Sheringham… we will also build a new fire station and community centre.
‘Unlike other applications for supermarkets in Sheringham, our plans are in the right place – the town centre, close to local shops, which will encourage shoppers to use them. The planning inspector’s official decision on our last plan confirmed this site is the best available for the store Sheringham needs.’
Further information about the plans can be seen here www.sheringhamtesco.co.uk