ROAD bosses have called for controversial plans for a Tesco supermarket in Romsey to be refused.

A report by Hampshire highway chiefs says they were “unable to provide a positive recommendation” for the scheme. It believes the current roads would be unsuitable to take the amount and type of traffic generated by such a store.

Tesco has said it will be working with the council to address the issues raised.

The supermarket giant has put in a planning application to Test Valley Borough Council for a store with a 400-space car park on a six-acre site known as Fairground Field, on the Broadlands Estate.

Tesco says it will provide 200 jobs and draw people in to Romsey therefore benefiting other businesses through linked shopping trips.

Opponents fear that the store will cause congestion, damage the setting of Romsey and threaten the viability of town centre shops.

As part of the planning process the county’s Highways Authority must assess the impact on local roads.

The report states: “It has not been demonstrated that the local highway network is capable of operating adequately and safely with the additional traffic likely to be generated by the site.”

The report said that the proposed access for the store onto Bypass Road and a controlled crossing close to the exit of the roundabout would impact on the safety of road users.

It found there were not enough alternative transport options meaning more car trips, affecting the environment and roads.

It also raised concern that traffic delays on the bypass road as a result could affect traffic within Romsey, but did consider the road capable of carrying the estimated 18 delivery vehicles each day safely.

Romsey Mayor Mark Cooper, also a county councillor for Romsey and a borough councillor for Romsey Tadburn, said: “The expressed view of thousands of Romsey people is that traffic volumes and congestion will be a major issue in making a Broadlands Tesco unworkable.

“The professional officers of the County Council agree with them.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “Whilst disappointed with the interim recommendation, we are pleased that the County Council believe our store will be very popular with Romsey customers. In the coming weeks we will work with Hampshire County Council to answer the questions they have raised.”