TESCO has revealed plans to open a new shop inside an empty historic building in Colchester High Street in a move which could create dozens of new jobs.

The supermarket giant has applied for planning permission to create a new shopfront and install illuminated signage on an empty unit in the town centre.

It was home to outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Mountain Warehouse, which closed last year, and is located next door to the town centre McDonald's.

Gazette: Revival - Tesco wants to open a new store in the old Mountain Warehouse unit in Colchester High StreetRevival - Tesco wants to open a new store in the old Mountain Warehouse unit in Colchester High Street

Tesco wants to revamp the unit, creating one of its Tesco Express stores, which are smaller convenience stores often with longer opening hours.

Works will see the entrance to the shop relocated from the centre of he building to the left-hand side, with a second entrance created from Pelham's Lane.

The new shopfront will be created from timber to suit the historic nature of the building, which is believed to date from before 1870 and has been used as a shop since at least 1888.

New coolers and air conditions units will also need to be installed on the premises.

A planning report states: "The proposed re-instatement of the original entrance locations is considered a positive design choice.

"The use of timber is considered highly appropriate, and the patterned pilasters will further serve to ensure the new shopfront integrates with its surroundings.

"The automatic entrance door and Pelham Lane doors are modern additions but considered acceptable here considering their purpose.

"The proposed plant and equipment will be located to the roof and not visible from street level or surrounding buildings."

It adds: "When considering the changes as a whole it is argued that the proposals will have a positive effect on the character and appearance of the conservation area and locally listed building.

"The previous historical entrance location will be re-instated, and the works will facilitate the reoccupation of a prominent retail unit contributing positively towards the retail dominated character of the area."

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The application does not mention how many jobs would be created by the new store, however, it will likely be dozens.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We’re always keen to find the best locations to serve our customers and are exploring opportunities to open a new Express store in Colchester.”

Colchester Council will have the final say on the plans.

To view the application, search 211989 on Colchester Council's planning portal or click here.