Wakefield’s Trinity Walk shopping centre wades into store wars row with Tescos

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A row over plans for a new Tesco continued this week after bosses at the city’s Trinity Walk shopping centre filed an objection.

Rival retailers including Sainsbury’s have already objected to the proposed Tesco Extra, which Tesco says would create hundreds of jobs at Ings Road Retail Park.

Sainsbury’s also reopened its own store at the retail park when Tesco filed a planning application, and was accused by its rival of “desperate efforts” to derail the new store when it questioned Tesco’s plans.

Now Sovereign Land, which owns Trinity Walk, has waded in, saying the new store would draw shoppers away from the city centre.

In a letter to council planners, Turley Associates, on behalf of Trinity Walk, said: “Our primary concern is the potential impact from the proposed development on the vitality and viability of Wakefield city centre and specifically Trinity Walk.”

The letter also questions Tesco’s own assessment of the impact on other retailers.

It said: “The applicant’s assessment significantly underestimates the potential impact on the city centre.”

Concerns have also been raised that the new store would cause traffic problems around the retail park.

The Trinity Walk letter said: “We note that other third parties have significant and ongoing concerns regarding the scope of the transport assessment and the impact of the proposed development on the highways network.”

Tesco hit back, pointing out that Turley Associates also represents Sainsbury’s.

Tesco’s Deborah Hayeems said: “This objection has been written and submitted by Sainsbury’s planning consultants so it is not surprising that it regurgitates Sainsbury’s objections.

“We have submitted detailed information on retail impact and highways and shown how these work well.

“What is surprising is that this significant investment proposal for Wakefield, to regenerate a gateway site, create hundreds of jobs and that had strong public backing from the outset, is taking so long to be determined.”