Tesco hedge their bets…..Just in case.
Like any responsible business Tesco have identified the Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats to their plan and have acted accordingly after identifying that the Secretary of State, in light of the recent rebuff to Tesco and KMBC regarding planning changes and the unaminous opposition from neighbouring authorities, indicates that their ambitious plan may get called in. They have developed a contingency plan, otherwise known as a plan B.
A Stock Exchange announcement earlier today stated:
Development Securities has sold its property holdings in Kirkby to an undisclosed buyer as it withdraws from the battle to regenerate the town centre.
KEIOC understands that Development Securities have in fact sold this asset to Tesco whom they were in talks with, at the behest of KMBC, regarding the conflict between the massive regeneration application proposed by Tesco which contravenes local, regional and national planning policies and Development Securities own regeneration plan which conformed to those policies.
Last October the Competition Commission attacked the use of restrictive covenants and exclusivity arrangements by supermarkets, Development Securities cited this observation in a statement to the Times when they threatened to refer Tesco to that commission.
It should be remebered that the proposed redevelopment of the Kiirkby town centre offered the residents of Kirkby an acceptable solution which not only reflected the real needs of the people of Kirkby but actually embraced the requirements of a town of 40,000 people as agreed by KMBC and the Government less than two years ago.
Given the past record of Tesco in regards to the banking of land and the “problematic differences” between Tesco and Knowsley concerning the huge amount of planned ‘enabling' retail south of Cherryfield Drive, KEIOC understand that residents of Kirkby will be seeking assurances that if for any reason, Kirkby Stadium is not ‘delivered' Tesco will not carry out there threat of leaving Kirkby town centre, which in the words of their own consultants would mean the town centre would “continue its downward spiral, making any further attempts to regenerate it in the future more difficult and costly.”