Tesco bosses warning over Welwyn Garden City site

BACK our plans to redevelop the Broadwater Road site – or face it lying derelict for years to come.

That was the warning from Tesco bosses this week as the public consultation draws to a close.

The supermarket giant reiterated its proposals were an entire scheme to regenerate the area, not just open a superstore.

Corporate affairs manager Michael Kissman said Tesco employed thousands at its international head office in WGC.

He said: “We employ 3,000 people in WGC, so our interest is much more than just serving customers through shopping.

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“We have a commitment to community here.”

The plans for the site include a 25m swimming pool, housing, doctors’ surgery, care home, heritage centre, hotel and YMCA.

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But Mr Kissman made it clear the supermarket giant would not run the community facilities.

Spenhill, the regeneration arm of Tesco based at their WGC headquarters, would build them and a private operator would run the facilities.

He also said the swimming pool would be funded by Tesco in a way that guaranteed the burden would not be on the taxpayers of Welwn Hatfield.

Mr Kissman said the supermarket giant had many sucessful schemes across the country working with local communities – a new town centre was built in Bradley Stoke near Bristol, a police station created in West Bromwich and student accommodation in Gateshead.

The Tesco man added: “We call on people to support these plans.

“We are proposing a viable and workable scheme that can move forward quickly and develop a range of benefits for WGC.

“Spenhill are the only people proposing anything on this site at the moment, no-one wants to see this area remain derelict for years to come.

“We can avoid that and create hundreds of jobs in the process.”

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