Tesco & Section 106

Brixham will still benefit from £285,000 of community improvements thanks to the £20million Tesco redevelopment scheme, it has been revealed.

Tesco asked Torbay Council to include a Section 106 agreement for road improvements and educational purposes in its original £2million land deal when it bought the town centre car park.

The company wants the S106 — imposed by members of the planning committee which approved the company’s mixed-used scheme — to be effectively dropped and come out of the gross capital receipt instead.

This means the work earmarked with the cash will still go ahead but will be paid out of the original deal rather than as an additional cost to Tesco.

Town councillor Chris Lomas said this was better for Brixham because it means the money will be ring fenced to be spent in Brixham rather than go in a general Torbay Council pot.

He said: “The £2million contract between Torbay and Tesco for the land limits any further off site costs to a maximum of £1.

“Included in this £2million are all S106 or other civic charges, which we now know to be £295,000, and other sums to cover the purchase of small plots of land within the site which are not owned by Torbay.

“The £295,000 will have to be spent in Brixham in areas connected to the town centre project.”

He added: “Both Torbay and the developer are simply honouring the contract which was signed in 2011.

“This method of covering future costs is quite normal in projects of this size involving local authorities, as a way of avoiding unpleasant surprises once the build is under way.

“I believe passionately that this £20million to £30million investment is vital for Brixham.

“It’s obviously good for Tesco and better for Torbay but the biggest gain by far is to Brixham.”

Keith Williams, vice chairman of Brixham Chamber of Commerce, said the new Tesco would be beneficial for the town and already traders were working to minimise the impact of the 18-month build on footfall.

He said: “Oxen Cove has been chosen as the principle car park during construction and an initial £15,000 has been made available for a shuttle bus between car parks and the town centre.

“If successful, further funding will be available from the sustainable transport contribution.”