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Tesco pulls plans for controversial 3DReid-designed store

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Troubled supermarket giant Tesco has scrapped proposals for a big new store close to the seafront in Margate, it has emerged.

The chain finally won planning permission for the 7,500m2 3DReid-designed store from communities secretary Eric Pickles in June last year, following opposition from local campaigners and government ‘retail tsar’ Mary Portas.

The development would have been built around the 19-storey Arlington House tower block, designed by Russell Diplock Associates, which is a prominent town-centre landmark.

A statement from the retailer said the decision had been made as part of a previously announced strategy to reduce the number of large-store openings because of changing customer shopping habits.

It said: ‘After careful consideration we have therefore decided not to pursue a new large store in Margate.

‘We’d like to thank everyone who supported our plans and will continue to serve the local community through our other stores in the town and our online grocery shopping service.’  

The Margate store is the third large supermarket development either cancelled or put on ice by Tesco in recent weeks.

Last month it announced an independent inquiry into a £250million  ‘overstatement’ of expected profits for the six months to August 23, which it described as a ‘serious issue’.

Government regulator the Financial Conduct Authortiy has commenced its own investigation into the matter.

Since the announcement, shares in the company have dropped sharply, trading at around half the level of the highest valuation over the past 12 months.

Campaign group the Friends of Arlington Margate said Tesco’s decision would allow the building’s owners to reopen the block’s 500-space car park and an arcade of shops at ground-floor level.

It added that Thanet District Council and Kent County Council would be able to resume work on a pedestrian-friendly seafront scheme to better connect the town’s railway station and the Turner Contemporary art gallery, designed by David Chipperfield Architects.


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