Tesco has been requested to restore a piece of local heritage removed from a Middlesbrough property without planning permission.
Middlesbrough Council’s planning enforcement officers stepped in to halt ongoing works at the supermarket giant’s Roman Road Express store in the Linthorpe conservation area.
The authority was made aware by Cllr Steve Bloundele and members of the public that a balustrade on the east wing of the building, on Oxford Road, had been taken down while unauthorised work has also been carried out on two bay windows and a chimney.
A ‘P’ from the Pybus Bros sign – a remnant of the days when the shop was one of a number owned in the town by the Middlesbrough grocer brothers – is also missing.
A delegation from Middlesbrough Council including planning officers has since met with officials from Tesco and their contractors.
Cllr Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for economic development and infrastructure, said: “The Council has made its position to Tesco very clear that heritage elements of the building should remain in tact and be repaired to preserve the character of the area.
“It is our understanding that they are currently looking at their options to put this right and we hope to see the frontage and balustrade back to how it should be very soon.”
Planning permission is required for changes to the frontage of any commercial property anywhere in Middlesbrough with conservation areas given extra protection through the planning process.
Conservation areas are described as areas having “special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”.
They are designated by local councils and their status means consent is needed for alterations which would not be normally required. It also gives councils the powers to refuse work which would be detrimental to local heritage.