Tesco confirmed for Penyrheol’s Bowls Inn
Retail giant Tesco has confirmed it will open its fifth store in the Caerphilly town area on the site of the former Bowls Inn in Penyrheol.
South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle, who is also a ward councillor in Penyrheol, has urged residents to support local businesses as Caerphilly had become a “Tescotown”.
Speculation that Tesco would move into the old Bowls Inn building had been widespread after developers put in a planning application to turn it into retail units.
The scheme by owners Newbridge Construction, which bought the premises from Admiral Taverns, will see the pub building partially demolished and converted into a shop unit. There will also be two other separate shop units built.
When the planning application was approved in December last year, Newbridge Construction said it did not have a tenant for the shop lined up.
Tesco has now confirmed it will open one of its Express stores on the site. This will add to stores already in the town centre, Crossways retail park, Trethomas and Castle View.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We would like to open a small Express store within the former Bowls Inn pub. This will create around 20 jobs that will be prioritised for both Aber Valley and Penyrheol residents. The store will also offer a wide range of fresh produce and essential items at fair prices. It is designed to encourage people to shop closer to home and could be particularly beneficial for those without a car.”
The company, which hopes to open the store next year, has also said that further planning applications will need to be submitted for signs and a cash machine. The store will not be open 24-hours a day and will be open from either 6am to 10pm or 7am to 11pm.
The announcement of the store though has angered Mr Whittle.
He said: “This will be the fifth Tesco in the Caerphilly area. They are saturating the area and that does not take into account Asda, Morrisons and Lidl, which all have a presence in the town.
“Tesco is talking about creating 20 jobs but what will be the impact be on the 16 local businesses in the Penyrheol ward, who also employ people? They are already struggling in very difficult times.
“We were very disappointed that Labour members on the planning committee supported the plans for shops on this site in numbers. Plaid ward members opposed this scheme. We wanted to see housing on the site and my fear is that the already traffic chaos at times at this roundabout will be made much worse when a Tesco Express opens its doors.
“Caerphilly has become Tescotown but I would appeal to people to support their local traders wherever possible. Surveys have shown that money spent in locally-owned shops stays in the community while spending at the big supermarkets flows out of the local area.”