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Tesco plans expansion of Pembury store but says it is not looking for more customers

Tesco wants to expand an out-of-town branch which it says “significantly over-trades”.

The store at Woodsgate Corner at Pembury is well located to access both the A264 into Tunbridge Wells and the A21 to the wider locality.

Tesco plans to give customers at Pembury "a better experience"
Tesco plans to give customers at Pembury "a better experience"

First built in 2000, permission was later given for a large expansion of the store, but it was not followed through.

Now Tesco wants to build two extensions, one on either side, to expand both the retail area and the warehouse.

But the expansion will come at a cost - the loss of car parking spaces.

Quite how many is not clear.

In the main body of its planning application to Tunbridge Wells Council, Tesco says that 43 spaces will be lost, but Kent Highways points out that in the traffic assessment submitted in support of the application, it says that the number of standard car park spaces will be reduced from 270 to 175 - a loss of 95 spaces.

Some of the car park will go
Some of the car park will go

The store stands within the High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) but is well screened on all sides.

Access is from a roundabout on the A228.

Tesco says the expansion will enable the store to introduce new lines, including clothing, but that the application was intended “to provide a better customer offer to existing customers” rather than having the effect of attracting significant numbers of new customers to the store.

The firm claimed: “The proposals will not therefore lead to a significant increase in the number of additional new car trips."

Details can be found on the Tunbridge Wells website under reference number: 24/01356.

The entrance to the Tesco Store at Pembury
The entrance to the Tesco Store at Pembury

The store opens Mondays to Saturdays from 6am to 11pm and on Sundays from 10am to 4pm

Six extra EV charging points will be added.

Find out about planning applications that affect you at the Public Notice Portal.

Tesco’s original planning permission, won at appeal, included the provision of a 580-space park and ride facility, but that never materialised.

The patch of land marked up for the park and ride is now allocated to elderly care housing in the borough’s emerging Local Plan.

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