Tesco wins in Sheringham supermarket battle

Traders in Sheringham are worried about losing business

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Tesco has won a long-running battle to build a superstore in a Norfolk coastal town.

The company has tried for 14 years to open a supermarket in Sheringham.

In March, the council rejected its application and instead opted for the Greenhouse Community Project's plan for a Waitrose and catering school.

Tesco submitted a fresh plan in August for the Cromer Road store which was narrowly approved by North Norfolk District Council earlier.

The meeting lasted almost six hours and more than 20 members of the public spoke.

Councillors were tied 7-7 and development committee chairman Simon Partridge voted in favour of Tesco.

He made his vote on the grounds that it was the better of the two plans because it conformed with national and local planning policy and would benefit the town, a council spokesman said.

The committee agreed there was a need for only one supermarket, and turned down the rival application by the Greenhouse Community Project for a site on Weybourne Road on the basis it was too far from the town centre and would not be good for the vitality of Sheringham, the spokesman added.

Affordable homes

Leader of the council Virginia Gay said: "For this council, this has always been a matter of dealing with the applications on planning grounds.

"Our concern, as it is in all planning matters, has been to do our best to make sure Sheringham gets the right development in the right place.

"That's what has led to today's decision, so that Sheringham finally gets a store that is appropriate to its needs."

Tesco's plan includes knocking down flats on the Cromer Road site and building a new fire station and community centre elsewhere.

It also intends to build two affordable homes on the store site and 12 homes near the community centre.

Tesco has said it has guaranteed £1.2m funding towards extra housing.

The Greenhouse Community Project said its supermarket plan would not detract trade from the town's independent shops - a concern of anti-Tesco campaigners - because the store would not have a pharmacy or sell clothes, books, electricals and hardware.

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