Tesco to build 4,000 new homes
Supermarket giant Tesco is planning to use the majority of its unused sites in England to develop in the region of 4,000 new homes at a cost of around £1bn, it has been revealed.
The plan is the biggest housebuilding project ever announced by the supermarket and comes following accusations that the company is hoarding land that could support up to 15,000 new homes.
An investigation by a major UK newspaper found that the retailer was sitting on 310 sites that are not currently occupied by a Tesco store.
Among the Tesco sites set for housing developments following last week's announcement will be Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, close to the retailer's operational headquarters, where it plans to develop in excess of 700 residential properties on a site where it previously planned a store.
Tesco said it was likely to build homes itself via its development wing, Spenhill, while also selling sites to housebuilders.
A Tesco spokesperson commented: "In response to changing customer shopping habits we have decided to reduce the amount of new store space we build each year, building fewer large stores. Where we no longer intend to develop sites, we sell them, lease them or develop them for housing.
"We are pleased to be bringing new investment to communities up and down the country and playing our part in meeting local housing needs over the coming years."