Supermarket giant Tesco has revealed it is in talks to turn a former pub in Orton Wistow, Peterborough into a store - only weeks after denying the move was on the cards.
The Telegraph reported last month that the Chequers pub in Napier Place, Orton Wistow, was facing an uncertain future after owners The Spirit Pub company decided to sell the venue’s lease.
It had been rumoured at the time that Tesco were bidding to buy the lease but when the PT contacted the firm they denied making any bid and said they had no intention of doing so.
This week Tesco sent out letters to residents in Orton Wistow confirming that they would be applying for planning permission open a Tesco Express store on the site.
If the plans get the go-ahead the new store could be open by the end of the year and create 20 new jobs.
A spokeswoman for Tesco said: “Usually on Express schemes, we work on negotiations with an independent developer for several months before anything is agreed. Therefore it would be imprudent to tell the press we were working on a site, if the deal then fell through.
“This might be why we couldn’t make a public announcement earlier.”
In the letter sent to residents, Louise Gosling, Tesco corporate affairs, said: “As the premises was last used as a public house we do not require planning permission for a change of use to introduce a Tesco Express.
“However, we will soon be applying for planning permission for works to the elevations of the property, air conditioning equipment and a cash machine - as well as advertisement consent for signage.
“Our Express stores are very much local stores for nearby residents, helping people to shop in their neighbourhoods and reducing longer trips to the supermarket, particularly for those without a car.
“As they are small stores they have the added benefit of being open longer on Sundays.”
However, some people locally have raised concerns about the plans with Orton Wistow resident Trevor Chapman urging people to oppose the move.
He said: “We are already well-catered for with shops at Napier, Matley and Ortongate, so we do not require a Tesco.
“A new shop will only cause parking problems and increase traffic into an area which is close to a school.”