A NEW Tesco superstore is one step closer to being built in Brixham town centre after cabinet members agreed to aim for a deal with the store giant.
Meeting at Oldway they unanimously agreed to "conclude negotiations on the detailed lease terms, advertise the disposal of open space and consider any objections received". Members were supported by non-cabinet councillors from the port who welcomed the news. saying it had been "a long time coming".
Deputy mayor Chris Lewis said: "We are at the final stage of making it happen for Brixham. There is light at the end of the tunnel."
If approved by the planning committee, the £18 million development would include a new supermarket, 12 affordable homes, a 366-space multi-storey car park, a shopmobility unit and a series of smaller retail shops.
The lease would be for 150 years for a peppercorn rent. If Tesco failed to start the development after a year of the lease being granted, the council could call for it to be returned.
The report to cabinet members said Tesco would aim to start building work next September, with the store opening in February 2013.
The report said the benefits of the proposal to the 'Bay family' included up to 158 full-time in-store jobs and 20 jobs during the construction period, an extra 196 parking spaces and, subject to a minimum spend in Tesco, up to one and a half hours free parking.
It also said the new store would help boost the town's annual trade by £2.25 million.
Cllr Lewis said: "This development will act as a major catalyst for future developments in the town. By having Tesco in the town centre the extra spend will be enormous."
The extra car parking spaces would generate £1.3 million for Torbay Council, which would be ploughed back into the fish market.
Cllr Kevin Carroll said: "£2 million will go into Brixham as a spin-off. It is a great scheme that will help the town."
Non-cabinet member Brixham councillor Martyn Hodge welcomed the recommendation to talk to Tesco about its proposal.
He said: "It has been a long time coming. It will bring 200 jobs to the town, which will have a knock-on effect on the town.
"Shopkeepers are in favour. It will be good for business."