Ilfracombe Tesco marquee angers shopkeepers

Tesco Tesco sells "summer essentials" in the marquee, it said

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Supermarket giant Tesco has angered traders in a north Devon seaside town by setting up a marquee selling beach goods, without planning permission.

The pop-up summer shop in the car park of the Ilfracombe store was "immoral" said one shopkeeper.

Tesco said the marquee was "really popular" with customers and it had applied for retrospective permission.

It can carry on selling goods until permission is either granted or refused, said North Devon Council.

The tent takes up about 10 car parking spaces in a square and sells items such as barbecues, buckets and spades and wetsuits.

High Street shopkeeper Gwynn Churchill said: "They haven't got permission, they have got a big enough store anyway.

"It's sharp practice. Even though it's legal, morally it can't be right."

Other traders said they relied on seasonal trade in holiday goods and could not compete with Tesco on prices.

Tesco said it was "pleased to be offering our customers summer essentials" and said it was "proving to be really popular".

North Devon Council said it would take up to eight weeks before it could consider the planning application.

"Responsible businesses would be expected to apply for planning consent prior to opening, although it is not illegal for them to open before permission has been granted," it said.

The authority added "any enforcement action should normally be held back while the application is considered".

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