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Tesco inquiry concludes - report due in April

The hearing into Tesco's plans to expand their Douglas store drew to a close today, as advocates for both sides gave their closing statements.

The inquiry, chaired by independent inspector David Bushby, began last week and has heard eight days of evidence.

Objectors to the scheme include the Department of Transport, Shoprite and Douglas Development Partnership, supported by the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce.

They have, throughout the inquiry, attempted to persuade the inspector expansion of the supermarket would have an unacceptable impact on the viability of shops in Douglas town centre.

They've also tried to show the plans would in effect create a brand-new store, as opposed to the extension Tesco claim it to be.

Lawyers for the UK chain have argued the impact will be felt but will not threaten existing shops and the competition might help rejuvenate Strand Street.

The capacity of the traffic management scheme proposed by Tesco has also been examined this week.

Mr Bushby will now produce his report before submitting it to the new Department of Infrastructure at the start of April.

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