Tesco decision applauded

Campaigners have welcomed a decision to refuse a Tesco superstore that would have "wiped out local shops".

Friends of the Earth (FoE) said that North Norfolk District Council's unanimous decision to turn down the proposal, despite recommendation from planning officers, is "a real victory for the local community".

The Campaign to Protect Rural England agreed that the 1500m2 store would have damaged the town's local economy, even though the council's specialist retail planning officer said it would result in greater footfall and increased spending in Sheringham town centre.

The council argued that its emerging local development framework specifies a development no larger than 750m2.

It also raised concerns over the scheme's design against a nearby listed building, a decline in local trade and increased traffic.

Tesco told Planning that a store would help sustain the area.

A spokesman said: "The majority of people shop in Cromer or further afield because traders aren't providing enough opportunities.

"We want to secure the future of Sheringham and its high street."

A previous application for a Tesco superstore was submitted in 1998.

This was followed by a controversial clause between the council and Tesco in 2003, which stated that the council would sell land to the retailer if it gained permission and prevented it from selling other pieces of land to competing developers (Planning, 14 July, p2).

Tesco launched an appeal against the council for non-determination before it submitted the second application refused last week.

The council said it would fight the previous appeal and that there are currently no other plans for the site.

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