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Tesco delays Rainham distribution centre

13:25 19 April 2012

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker says Tesco must use the extra time to address congestion issues near the site

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker says Tesco must use the extra time to address congestion issues near the site

Archant

The Tesco distribution centre due to create 900 jobs in Rainham has been delayed until summer 2013, it was announced today (Thursday).

A spokesman for the supermarket giant told the Recorder workers from Havering would still be given the first opportunity to apply for the jobs created by the development - but said applications would not be taken until the spring. The centre was originally due to open later this year.

Tony Fletcher, the chain’s corporate affairs manager for London, said: “When we looked at the window of time to get it up and running, we took the view there were too many risks.

“We couldn’t start it until the Olympics and if we run into Christmas that’s our busiest period.

“We don’t want to let customers down.”

The news will come as a blow to local residents, many of whom attended a session in March on how to apply for jobs at the distribution centre.

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker, leader of the Independent Residents’ Group, said: “A lot of people are looking for jobs because they have got families to feed and clothe.”

But Cllr Tucker said he hoped Tesco would use the extra time to address congestion issues on the A13, which runs past the site: “As it’s now being delayed, the congestion issue must be completely finalised by the time it opens.”

Mr Fletcher said Tesco remained committed to the project.

Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, said: “After many meetings with Tesco it is great to have the green light for the distribution centre to go ahead.

“This is a great opportunity to see more jobs created in the local area to tackle the rising unemployment and I would urge all local residents to apply.”

Mr Cruddas added he was “very reassured” that Tesco were committed to local workers and that recruitment would start next year.

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