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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 15:08 GMT
Tesco to build homes for workers
Tesco trolley
Tesco is the UK's largest supermarket group
Tesco is set to build homes for its staff to combat the lack of affordable housing in London.

The UK's largest supermarket has allocated 13 of the 250 flats it is building alongside the Streatham store in south London to staff.

The retailer already has "planning consent" and is in the "final stages of legal agreements," a spokeswoman said.

If the trial is successful, the chain intends to incorporate staff housing into further developments.

'Imaginative' approach

A spokeswoman for Tesco said they hoped the scheme would be "beneficial for staff retention" in London, where they suffer from a high turnover of workers.

She added: "It is being led in London because there is more need for affordable housing... the sites in London are more constrained so you need to be a lot more imaginative."

The Streatham development is set to include a leisure centre and ice rink in addition to the flats above the Tesco store.

The flats will be sold to a housing association and staff will not be treated any differently to other tenants, retaining the right to stay in the property even if they stop working for the supermarket giant.

However, if flats become vacant, staff will be offered them first.

Key workers, who are often priced out of the London housing market, are intended to benefit from the pioneering project, in addition to Tesco employees.

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