SUPERMARKET bosses are eyeing up an empty shop in Rayleigh High Street to open a new store in.

Tesco has applied to Rochford District Council for a premises licence to open a new supermarket in the former Dorothy Perkins store.

Council bosses have welcomed plans for another “big name” to be added to the high street, as well as welcoming one fewer empty unit.

Deputy leader of Rochford Council, Tory councillor Cheryl Roe, said: “We welcome it into the High Street, that will be another big name into our town centre.

“It will also be another supermarket, but it gives people the choice other than Marks and Spencer, although we think Marks and Spencer is wonderful in our town, it is nice for a bit of competition for everyone and a little bit of fairness for people to use either or, which then gives residents a choice. It is good for people and good for the town.”

The property is situated in the centre of Rayleigh and is less than half a mile from Rayleigh train station.

It is mainly open plan retail space with storage facilities at the rear.

Rayleigh High Street used to have a Tesco more than 40 years ago, close to where Holland and Barrett stands today.

Mrs Roe added a new store was something many residents had hoped for since its closure decades ago.

She said: “To be honest I think we have hoped that something like Tesco’s would come into Rayleigh following the closure years ago when there was a Tesco’s in the High Street.

“But it is certainly something we welcome, we welcome anything that will make the town vibrant, but at the end of the day it is always great to get another supermarket.

“It is something we very much welcome and it gives everyone a chance to shop where they would like, and it will be really good for both residents and our town centre.”

Tesco have been contacted for a comment on but are yet to respond.