Essex

Campaign in Tiptree urges Tesco to repair two houses

Boarded-up house
Image caption One of the two houses campaigners want Tesco to refurbish

Villagers in Essex are urging a major supermarket to repair and maintain two properties it bought when it opened a store 10 years ago.

Since then the two derelict gate houses at the entrance to the Tesco supermarket in Tiptree have fallen into further disrepair.

Tiptree Parish Council has started a petition to urge Tesco to repair them.

Tesco said it is instructing contractors to refurbish them with a view to sell or lease them.

Sale or lease

Peter Headford, the editor of local free newspaper, The Tribune, said the derelict houses had been the subject of much debate on the letters page.

Mr Headford said: "We've had everything ranging from 'It's a health hazard, there's a lot of rats in there' to 'It's reducing the value of our houses' to 'Let's boycott Tesco'."

Hayley Kirkman, who owns Mo's Cafe, said: "I think it's a complete eyesore, not just me, all the customers comment when they come in."

Tesco said there was no evidence of rats at the two properties.

A spokesman for the supermarket said: "Clearly we recognise the delay to develop these buildings has been frustrating to local people.

"We have listened and are instructing local contractors to refurbish and bring them back into use... with a view to sell or lease them.

"In the meantime they will be maintained safely."

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