THE long awaited opening of a Tesco Express store could be delayed after the store asked for planning permission to make amendments to their original plans.

The store in Bourne End is currently expected to be opened on Tuesday, March 18, but despite this latest planning application being lodged in October no decision has yet been made.

Included in the new application are amendments to the designs of the building and the re-siting of a new vehicular access to the site.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We’ve recently submitted an amended application to the Council. We look forward to the outcome of this and will keep the community updated as we move closer to bringing forward our plans.”

As well as changes to the vehicular access to the site, new plans also include an ATM machine at the front of the store, an addition door in the interior of the building and a change in the number of residential flats above the store.

Luke Raistrick, a spokesman for the Tesco planning application, said: “Planning permission was granted in July 2011, since which the project has been handed over to the development team which has identified some practical and operational difficulties with the approved scheme.

“In order to optimise the operation of the proposed foodstore and improve the marketability of the proposed residential flats, some amendments are sought.”

The opening of the store has been very controversial amongst local residents with some now concerned that with the building already mainly built; plans may be approved without proper consideration.

However, the chairman of the Bourne End residents association, Jim Penfold, believes that it looks like the council are seriously considering the new application.

Mr Penfold said: “I think the council have acted absolutely correctly by bringing this back as a new application rather than just allowing small amendments to be made.”

He added: “When someone gets planning permission for something you expect them to stick to their plans. These are the same concerns we had when they originally applied for it.”