Planning application for Tesco near Fratton Park is submitted

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PLANS to build a new Tesco store on land behind Fratton Park have taken a big step forward.

A planning application has been submitted by Point Estates – the company behind the project – to Portsmouth City Council.

It comes as three main stumbling blocks in the application being submitted were cleared at a meeting of the council’s cabinet last week.

As previously reported, members voted to sell a parcel of land off Anson Road to Point Estates LLP, which is owned by developer Stuart Robinson.

Point Estates leases the land, and will become the freeholder for an undisclosed sum.

The lease on a second parcel of land off Anson Road, currently leased by Point Estates, will be transferred to Portsmouth Community Football Club Ltd and, subject to planning permission being granted will be turned into a 250-space car park.

A restriction banning shops from being built on the land was also removed.

As part of the deal, Point Estates is putting cash towards improvements at Fratton Park.

Getting the plans finalised has taken longer than originally anticipated, but Stuart Robinson, owner of Point Estates, is delighted they are finally ready to be considered.

He said: ‘These plans are a win-win for everyone.

‘The football club will be able to improve Fratton Park and its surroundings, which is a key benefit of what we are doing and the local community will benefit from having increased choice and competition for their weekly shop.’

Around 300 jobs will be provided at Tesco and the brownfield site will undergo much welcomed urban regeneration, including environmental enhancements and improved pedestrian and cycle routes.

Ashley Brown, director of Pompey and chairman of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, has led the club side in the negotiations.

He said: ‘The club is supportive of this application.

‘We are very pleased with the agreement we have reached with the developer and over time the club, and in particular Fratton Park, will experience a real benefit.

‘All Pompey fans know the importance of this development for the regeneration of not only the club but also the community as a whole and I hope they join us in supporting it.

The application now needs to be considered by the city council.

If approved, work on improvements to the land behind the North Stand could begin during the summer of 2014.

The store could open in 2015.