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Tesco set to take over empty Budgens site in Lyndhurst

Budgens on Lyndhurst high street closed in February
Budgens on Lyndhurst high street closed in February

A SUPERMARKET in Lyndhurst which has lain empty since closing in February is set to reopen as a Tesco store.

Budgens in the high street had been run for 14 years by a husband-and-wife team who said increasing costs and a lack of trade forced them to close when their lease expired.

Now Tesco has confirmed it is taking over the space, one of the biggest units in the high street and almost directly opposite a competing Co-op.

A spokesperson for the company told the A&T: “We’re pleased to confirm plans to open a new Tesco store on Lyndhurst High Street to serve customers in the area with great quality, affordable food, create new jobs for the community and bring the vacant unit back in to use.

“These plans are subject to planning permission and if approved we hope to open early 2021. We will keep the community updated as our plans progress.”

A planning application has been made to the national park authority for property improvements, including a cashpoint and new glazing.

The submission is from Budgens to alter the store which, once complete, would be taken over by Tesco. Budgens is owned by wholesaler Bookers which was acquired by Tesco in 2017.

Cllr Chris Willsher, chair of Lyndhurst Parish Council, told the A&T: “We welcome the news that the [former] Budgens food store is to re-open.

“Lyndhurst desperately needs a vibrant High Street that is accessible to all and offers real choice to residents and visitors.”

The proposed store alterations include new aluminium frames and glazing, an automatic entrance door and four anti-ram bollards.

The existing trolley bay would be removed and an ATM machine installed, along with lighting and CCTV. At the rear of the store, alterations would include a new steel door being fitted.

The application stated: “Ultimately, the proposals are considered to preserve the character and appearance of the Lyndhurst Conservation Area.

“The shopfront proposals will in fact remove a number of features considered to be out of character with the wider area, and in any case are broadly similar to the existing shopfront in terms of overall location and materiality thereby clearly being acceptable in this location.”

It added: “The proposed ATM will be largely hidden from views along the High Street due to its set back position and is thus not considered to have an adverse impact on the conservation area.

“Finally, the proposed rear alterations are additionally not considered to have any negative visual impact given the lack of existing design quality.

“The alterations will allow a more efficient shopfloor and back of house layout ultimately providing additional space for storage and the display of goods.”

A decision is expected to be made by the NPA after the public consultation ends on 5th January next year.

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