A TESCO convenience store is to close with the loss of 15 jobs.
The Express shop in Elm Grove, Hayling Island, will shut next month after the supermarket giant was unable to negotiate a new lease that was financially viable.
This is clearly part of a wider planCouncillor Andy Lenaghan
But before the shop has even closed, and before an application has been put into the local authority, the site is being advertised as retirement homes.
Councillor Andy Lenaghan, who represents Hayling on Havant Borough Council, said he feels Churchill Retirement Homes has acted prematurely.
‘I’m disappointed for the residents of that area and the people who work there,’ he said.
‘But this is clearly part of a wider plan because Churchill is already advertising apartments for sale on that site.
‘They haven’t even got planning permission.
‘It is certainly not in our Local Plan.
‘There is provision for a small number of units at the back but not that whole site.
‘That would be a massive application for a large number of flats
‘I was very disappointed to see that advertised. People have been shocked by it.
‘But it is a prime location. It is close to bus stops, doctors and other amenities.’
The site belongs to the Danby family, who owned Pullingers furniture shop, next door for 80 years until it closed in February.
The News contacted Nick Danby and Churchill but neither has responded.
A Tesco spokesperson said:
‘Closing the store was a difficult decision and our priority is to do everything we can to find alternative roles within Tesco for as many affected colleagues as possible.
‘We’ll continue to serve customers through our local Express and Metro stores.’
But a source told The News the shop was under-performing and, following negotiations with the owners of the building, renewing the lease was not financially viable.
A 45-day consultation has started.
It is hoped that all staff will be redeployed at the five Express stores, one Metro and one Extra which are all within a five-mile radius of the Hayling Island store.
The West Town Tesco will be staying open.