Tesco would create 250 new jobs – of which a third would go to long-term unemployed people – if it was allowed to build a store in Tolworth, a company representative has claimed.
Nick Jones, from consultants GL Hearn, said the supermarket giant would work with Kingston JobCentre Plus to employ people out of work for more than six months as part of its “regeneration store” scheme.
The company’s plans also include a hotel, three blocks of flats and parking space.
Mr Jones said: “It is 269 homes that will have to go elsewhere if they do not go here.
“Otherwise the pressures are just spread out across the borough.
“The council has to deliver those homes and if it does not people will come and put more homes on smaller sites around the borough.”
Just over a fifth of the flats, 53 in total, will be designated as affordable housing.
Kingston Council has admitted the need for another food store in the area, he said.
How the proposed residential blocks would look.
Roberto Muñoz, Tesco’s London head of corporate affairs, addressed concerns about the supermarket’s potential effect on smaller shops.
He said: “When you build a Tesco it is a point of focus. The businesses will see an uptick in business, and see that the area will have more footfall.”
Mr Muñoz declined to reveal the supermarket’s projected turnover.
He added: “All the residential would be delivered before the opening of the store.”
Regarding a predicted increase in traffic, he said: “The A3 is not going to move and the need for development on this site is, of course, not going to change.”
The development package would include an almost £1m levy for community infrastructure, which the council could spend on projects decided by neighbourhoods.
The plans will come before councillors at next Friday’s development control committee meeting for final approval or rejection.
The meeting will take place at 7.30pm at the Guildhall.