DOUBTS are growing over whether a new £50million Tesco in Southend - and the 450 jobs it is due to create - will ever become a reality.

A year after the supermarket giant’s proposals for the former B&Q car park, in Short Street, were supposedly given the green light, no efforts have been made to start building work.

Moreover, the Echo can reveal Tesco has not signed a legal agreement which is needed to rubber-stamp the development, meaning the store technically still does not have planning permission.

With the company’s chiefs announcing they are now focusing on internet sales earlier this year, including a decision to mothball all new plans for superstores, fears are growing the Southend store may have fallen victim to the chain’s change of heart.

Jackie Wilmott, 46, who lives in nearby Maldon Road, said: “I think everyone just wants to know what’s happening.

“It was a big thing when Tesco announced it and 450 jobs is a lot for a town like this.

“But we need to know what’s going on, one way or another.”

Nicola Hudson, 43, of the same road, added: “It’s definitely a concern.

“It was a big investment for Southend, but you’ve got to think that it might not happen now.”