SUPERMARKET giant Tesco has ended weeks of speculation by announcing it wants to open a store in Boston Spa.
The supermarket has this week confirmed to the Wetherby News that it would like to open a “small convenience-style store” in the village.
A Tesco spokesman said: “Tesco is looking at opportunities to provide a small convenience store in Boston Spa. Once a firm proposal has been reached, we will let people know of the details.”
Although Tesco would not confirm details of the location of the store, the Wetherby News understands the supermarket has been in talks to open a store at the Grade II listed Crown Hotel on Boston Spa’s High street, currently owned by national pub chain Enterprise Inns.
The news comes just two weeks after the supermarket put forward its proposals to build a Tesco Express store at the former Old Star Inn in Collingham – less than three miles away from the proposed Boston Spa site.
Tesco also expressed an interest in opening a larger supermarket on the outskirts of Wetherby on land near to Sandbeck Industrial Estate.
Sandra Johnson, supervisor at Londis on the High Street, said she feared trade will be taken away from the community if Tesco opens.
“I do not think Boston Spa needs another mini-supermarket in the village and I think local and independent shops would lose out,” she said. “I am hoping that plans do not go through.”
Karen Kay, who has worked at Costcutter for six years, is also opposed to the proposals.
She said: “What with plans for a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Wetherby and a Tesco in Collingham, I don’t think there is a need for another mini-supermarket here.
“We have had a lot of customers come in as these rumours have been going on for some time lately and they have said to me they do not want a Tesco here as they don’t see the need for it. I would worry about my job if a Tesco opened up a store here.”
Shop traders and residents have been speculating since before Christmas about the future of the Crown Hotel. A Facebook group called “The Crown Hotel” posted a message last December telling people the hotel was for sale.
The post, by landlady Teresa Cowling, said: “Well I am sorry to tell everybody this news but Enterprise Inns has informed me that it is selling the Crown Hotel to some developers and it will no longer be a pub, it could be in six months to a year so we will carry on for as long as we can and would like to thank everybody for all the support they have given over the last couple of years.”
A spokesman for Leeds City Council confirmed Tesco had been in discussions with its conservation officers.
“Tesco has made enquiries into the The Crown Hotel, a listed building, with regards to planning matters.
“Nobody has been down to the site and the discussions are still at a very early stage. We cannot comment further on the extent of the enquiries by Tesco at this stage.”
The chairman of Boston Spa Parish Council, David Thomson, said he believed a Tesco Express store would have a “detrimental” effect on shop traders in the village.
He added that the parish council had not been told of any proposals for a supermarket from Tesco.
“If they do submit any plans, the parish council would like a full public consultation involving residents in the village to find out what their views are,” said Coun Thomson.
l What do you think about Tesco trying to set up shop in Boston Spa? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 9 Westgate, Wetherby, LS22 6LL.