Tesco, which is Britain's largest supermarket, has announced plans to build four mini-villages in Britain…
The retailing giant, which is currently in the midst of expanding into financial services, said the "mini-villages" are set to be built in Bromley-by-Bow, East London, Dartford, Kent, Streatham, South London, and Woolwich, South-East London.
Lambeth Council is working with Tesco to deliver the "Streatham Hub", which involves a bus depot, a full-size ice rink and new transport links, alongside 200 new homes.
It is also in advanced talks with Dartford Council over a development of around 1,000 homes.
However, many have been critical of Tesco's housebuilding venture, stating it could become too powerful possessing more personal data on its customers than the Government.
Josh Ryan-Collins, of the New Economics Foundation, told the Times: "There is a need for more affordable housing but there is a danger with Tesco's moves. If they provide the mortgage, if they act as estate agent, if they provide a credit card, if they sell you a house, they will end up with more personal information about you than the Government."
Meanwhile, the news comes just a few weeks after Tesco teamed up with Spicerhaart to launch an online estate agency aimed at saving home-sellers money.
iSold.com is so far only available in the Bristol area; the new service charges a flat fee of £999 in return for which properties are advertised on portals such as Rightmove.
Furthermore, the retailer plans to compete with High Street banks and hopes to take advantage of the lack of confidence in existing banks by attracting disillusioned customers.
It has announced plans to offer mortgages in the near future, and is planning to build a telecoms business generating £2 billion a year of sales.