New store tries to blend in

THE first picture showing how a new Tesco Express store in a historic Northamptonshire high street will look has been released.

The supermarket company confirmed it was opening a new shop in Olney High Street, replacing a hardware shop opposite the Market Square, which falls in a protected conservation area.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “The Express will not have a standard Tesco shop front, instead it will have a timber shop front with individual offset lettering on a cream or white coloured background. The shop front has been designed specifically for this store to ensure that the shop front is sympathetic to the area.”

Neighbours found out about the forthcoming shop after an application for an alcohol licence appeared in the shop window, and more than 800 people – around 10 per cent of the town’s population – signed a petition against the arrival of Tesco among independent stores.

Ann Walker, one of the signatories from Neartown Gardens in Olney, said: “It’s a difficult time for everybody and I didn’t feel it was the right way for Olney to go to have Tesco here. I felt it was important to express views on this and my view was if there were 800 signatures then it was well worth doing something about it. It isn’t necessary to have a store like Tesco in the town.”

The store, which has been renovated without the need for planning permission because it is already registered as a retail property, is expected to open later this year.