SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is moving into Oswaldtwistle.
Hyndburn Council‘s Planning Committee this week approved the application for a Tesco Express store on the site of the old fire station in Union Road.
It has been a hot spot for anti-social behaviour but the new convenience store is seen as a solution to this problem.
In March Tesco withdrew a similar plan after Lancashire County Council expressed concerns over parking.
But it has now revised the plan and included a 30-minute time limit for customers using its car park, which will have space for eight vehicles and one disabled spot.
The council received five letters of objection to the proposal, many citing concerns about traffic congestion but also including noise pollution and the impact the store would have on local businesses.
Chartered town planner Judith Douglas, speaking on behalf of Nigel Masters, a partner in the Spar store on Thwaites Road, said: “The council cannot believe the proposed management plan of a 30-minute parking limit is acceptable.
“People will not want to park away from a convenience store and this will result in more congestion around the store and on Union Road.”
But Lancashire County Council as the highways authority had no objections, and the Planning Committee approved the scheme.
Ward councillor Brian Walmsley, who is on the committee, said: “The fire station has been an eyesore in Oswald-twistle ever since it was closed in 2002.’’
After the meeting council leader and Oswaldtwistle Area Council chairman Peter Bricliffe said he was delighted with the decision.
He added: “I think we really need some more shops in Oswaldtwistle. It’s the second largest town in Hyndburn and we just need a bit more competition.
“I also think it will be welcomed by the 25 per cent of people who don’t drive as they will be able to walk down Union Road and do a shop.”
Mahmood Zaffar, manager of Bargains 4 U on Union Road, said: “My business will suffer and other shops may not be able to compete.”
A Tesco Metro opened on Abbey Street, Accrington, in 2006, and plans for two Tesco superstores, one in Eagle Street, Accrington, and the other in Queen Street, Great Harwood, were approved by the council earlier this year.