Supermarket giant insists “nothing has changed” on its plans for new Ely store

How the new Octagon Park development could shape up

How the new Octagon Park development could shape up - Credit: Archant

News that Tesco has mothballed a new superstore in Chatteris – just weeks short of its planned opening date – will have no bearing on its plans for a new Ely store – the company has announced.

It was revealed by our sister paper the Cambs Times this week that Tesco’s £22 million 47,000 square feet Chatteris store – due to open in November with the prospect of 250 jobs - is to be mothballed and temporarily boarded up.

The company dropped the bombshell at the weekend – just weeks after it appointed a new chief executive, Dave Lewis, to stem falling profits.

The company told councillors in Chatteris that it was “slowing down” its store opening programme, which sparked fears for the future of its planned relocation in Ely.

But, on Thursday, Bryn Woodward, corporate affairs manager, said that the situation in Chatteris was “unrelated” to the company’s plans is Ely and that “nothing had changed” in its commitment to move.

Back in November, Healy Investments was granted planning permission, in principle, by East Cambridgeshire District Council to build a new Tesco superstore in Angel Drove, a few hundreds yards along the A142 from its current site.

The scheme will also include a hotel, a restaurant overlooking a water feature, a petrol station, seven retail units including a DIY store, and an office.

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It is hoped that, if Tesco moves, its former store site will be cleared and become part of the planned ‘station gateway’ development – set to feature houses, shops and an upgraded railway station entrance.