Jobs claims at new Tesco Extra store are questioned by Wakefield Council report

editorial image
4
Have your say

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco’s claims that it will create hundreds of jobs for the city have come under scrutiny.

Tesco says its plans for a new Extra superstore, on Ings Road, would create 450 jobs.

But a report commissioned by Wakefield Council has questioned “incorrect” jobs data used in the planning application.

The report said estimates should have taken into account the impact on other retailers who would lose business and shed jobs.

This could result in the overall number of full-time jobs created at a local level being reduced to just 61.

The report said: “Given the challenging economic climate, constrained consumer spending and the above average vacancy rate in Wakefield, it is in our view not acceptable to assume that displacement of employment will be 
negligible.”

The report said the Ings Road site was allocated for homes and mixed-use development under the council’s own plans for the area. It said: “If the proposed development proceeds this will be contrary to the development plan.”

Highways bosses have also criticised the plan, describing an assessment of the impact on traffic from the new store as “flawed”.

Their report, made public this week, said: “Accordingly refusal of the application is recommended.”

But Tesco said district councillors had given their backing to the scheme.

But Tesco said district councillors had given their backing to the scheme.

Deborah Hayeems from Tesco said: “We are delighted by the backing we have received from the two major political parties in Wakefield, as well as the support of the vast majority of local people we have spoken to.

“Our store would see a significant investment in regenerating the Ings Road Retail Park and we hope the added attraction of a Tesco supermarket would help to entice new people to shop in Wakefield and bring benefits to the whole city.”

In a release made by Tesco on Friday, Coun Margaret Isherwood said: “I and my Labour ward colleague Coun Tracey Austin are happy to support any application which brings job opportunities and investment in to Wakefield.”

Coun John Stone said: “The plans for a new Tesco store at Ings Road Retail Park are very much welcomed by myself and my two ward colleagues Coun Hilary Mitchell and Coun Bill Sanders.”