WITH a controversial Bourne End Tesco store soon to open, the chairman of the residents association hopes people will not change their shopping habits.

The new shop, which has already been built, was finally given the seal of approval by Wycombe District Council last week, following a drawn out planning process.

Having been given permission to build the new shop in the Parade two years ago, Tesco was forced to submit a new application as they attempted to make amendments to the initial plans.

Jim Penfold, the chairman of the Bourne End Residents Association, has now pleaded with residents ‘not to be seduced by the store opening’.

He said: “I do not have a problem with Tesco opening a store here, I just hope now it doesn’t detract from other shops within the area.

“We hope this is our last word on Tesco in Bourne End and our plea is simple when they do open please (shoppers) do not change your current shopping habits.

“Do not be seduced by opening offers and please continue to support the local, long established, traders.”

He continued to work on behalf of residents throughout the planning process to question the application plans with his main concern being the access to the site.

Having originally agreed to have an access on the western side of the front, Tesco asked it to be moved to the middle to ensure a manhole was not obstructed, he said.

Mr Penfold added: “I think we can say we are bitterly disappointed at what was approved and what is the safest option in a very limited space in that site for the mix of shoppers, cars, vans, and of course the refrigerated-type delivery lorries.

“It is a shame that the safest possible means of access and egress has not been carried out because I think from everyone’s point of view that is what should have happened.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We're pleased that we can move forward with our plans for a new store in Bourne End.

“From experience, we know that our convenience stores give people one more reason to shop locally and in many cases can help other local businesses grow.

“We are confident that our store will be popular as it will offer a wide range of products in a convenient location. We can't wait to open the store and start serving the local community”.

What do you think of the new Tesco store opening? You can have your say by emailing andrew.colley@london.newsquest.co.uk