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Tesco announces plans for 4,000 homes

Supermarket chain Tesco has revealed plans to build homes on land that was previously set aside for new stores.According to Property Week, the firm plans to construct up to 4,000 new properties on sites across the country by 2017.While the majority of developments will be located in the south-east of the country, in areas such as Welwyn City and St Albans, projects have also been earmarked for the north and north-west.The supermarket chain has been criticised for hoarding land, with some estimates suggesting it may own enough unused sites to support the construction of 15,000 homes.Tesco may build some of the properties itself using its in-house development wing, Spenhill, but it may also sell sites on to other developers.Property Week states that the firm is developing housing worth £1 billion, based on an average house price for the UK of £250,000.A spokesman for Tesco said: "In places where we have already delivered housing schemes, for example in Faversham or Highams Park, the feedback from local communities and councils has been very positive."We are pleased to be bringing new investment to communities up and down the country and playing our part in meeting local housing needs over the coming years."The supermarket chain has faced increasing pressure from discount rivals such as Aldi and Lidl in recent years, with declining sales in many out of town supermarkets. As a result of these changing consumer habits, Tesco has had to curb plans to build more superstores.Recently, Tesco announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer, Dave Lewis, who will join its board on October 1st 2014.In a statement, the supermarket chain said it is facing more challenging trading conditions than anticipated at the time of its first quarter interim management statement on June 4th. Sales and trading profit in the first half of the year are below expectations due to a weaker overall market and the investments it is making to improve customer loyalty and improve its service. 

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