A report which is likely to dictate the terms of a planning debate over the out-of-town Tesco proposal is due to be completed in the next fortnight.
The crucial Retail Impact Assessment will judge future housing provision against retail capacity in Harborough.
In its conclusions, the report will recommend whether the town’s estimated population growth over the next 18 years will need another supermarket to satisfy consumer demand. The report is due to be completed by Wednesday, November 6, where it will be presented to Harborough District Council’s Local Plan Task Panel.
Cllr Sarah Hill, a councillor who sits on the cross-party panel, said the report would likely to be a big determining factor when Tesco’s plan for a new store on the old Focus site in Rockingham Road is brought before the council’s planning committee.
A similar report controlled the debate when Aldi and Lidl both fought to obtain planning permission in Kettering Road, Harborough, back in 2005.
Cllr Hill said that whatever findings are in the report, Tesco’s plan will still have to be assessed against local and national planning policy.
In recent years, national planning policy has tended to err on the side of town centre-based supermarkets rather than out-of-town sites.
A Harborough Council spokesman said: “The council has commissioned a specialist consultant to undertake a retail study for the district for the period up to 2031. The findings will help to ensure we safeguard town centres and plan and consider applications for new shops in the knowledge of future needs.
“It will help us enable suitable growth so that residents have the facilities they need without having to travel out of the district.”