The Co-op could mount a High Court challenge to this morning’s decision to approve plans for a Tesco superstore in Swaffham.

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Breckland councillors backed the proposals for the Castle Acre Road site by an eight to three margin after weighing a projected 11.7pc loss of income for town centre shops against new jobs and greater consumer choice.

The Anglian Co-operative, which operates the Rainbow Foodstore in Swaffham town centre, had said in its April 20 objection to the planning application it would seek a judicial review of any decision to approve the plans.

It had said the council’s assessments of alternative sites and the proposed store’s impact were “so clearly deficient as to make such a decision perverse”.

Following the announcement of today’s planning decision, a spokesman for Anglia Co-operative said: “We are still considering what our reaction will be. We have not made a firm decision.”

At today’s meeting, Tesco representative Louise Gosling said the company would fund a new bus service and improved pedestrian access to the town centre, pay for improvements to shop fronts and had heard from 250 people interested in the store’s 50 full-time and 100 part-time jobs.

Councillor Terry Lamb said that although Tesco was popular, supermarkets were damaging town centres, while Swaffham town clerk Richard Bishop said the town council supported the proposals by a majority vote to give people a place to do all their weekly shop and provide a clothes shop in the town.

Swaffham councillor Frank Sharpe said: “I would not vote for this application in any way if I did not believe it was beneficial to the town. That’s the bottom line. I believe this is what the town needs.

“There’s many a time when I have been approached by people in the town who say ‘Why does Swaffham not get anything and Dereham gets it?’ Well, Swaffham will get a Tesco and that’s a start.”

11 comments

  • Residents of Swaffam. Make sure Tesco treat you a lot better than they have the residents of Caister on Sea.

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    fester1902

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • I think there must be someone at Tesco who dreams of everyone living within a mile of a Tesco. Well the good news is that virtually all the Tesco home delivery vans will be off Swaffham streets!

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    jennifer jane

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • As always why not let the people decide. Let them build it and if the people really don't want it they won't use it and the top brass will soon close it down. Fat chance though, the very people complaining will as usual be the first through the door to take advantage of the lower prices that the big chains invariably bring!!

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    Focus1

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • Tesco: The store nobody wants but everybody shops at!

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    NigelS

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • And to think, once Tesco and the other major stores have had their wicked way, what will there be left in our small market towns. I've seen it happen in North America over the last 20-30 years. Once thriving townships destroyed by the giant god of commericalisation. So, whatever you do oppose this. It may not be our future, but it's our children and our children's childrens future at stake.

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    captaincozmik

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • Usual battle of independent traders v joe public who wants "one stop" shopping, free parking and cheaper prices. Bit of a no brainer really; but it will mean another high street of banks and charity shops. I think it is time we accepted the inevitable and converted empty shops to much needed homes. At least that would keep the town centres alive.

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    BG

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • Below is a comment left by Stephen Jacklin a few weeks ago on a similar article. He has a very good point. Why isn't Tesco affected by this? A few years ago, when Morrisons took over Safeway, they were told they had to close either their one of their Swaffham or Fakenham stores so as not to create a monopoly in the area. Yet Tesco, against much public will, can build however many stores they want, wherever they want? Even though Swaffham is already supported by Co-Op, Waitrose, ASDA and Iceland as well as smaller businesses? What a joke.

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    grant harwood

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • All the wrong things are allowed in this area. Come on COOP, fight them to the end

    Report this comment

    Jacob Burns

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • I think there must be someone at Tesco who dreams of everyone living within a mile of a Tesco. Well the good news is that virtually all the Tesco home delivery vans will be off Swaffham streets!

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • This is a blow for the town, if they bring in parking charges as well it will be the end.

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    Johnny Norfolk

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • It would be interesting to know how opening a Tesco's will 'reduce the amount of money flowing out of Swaffham'. Are Tesco's going to use their profits to regenerate the town centre?

    Report this comment

    Nigel001

    Monday, July 9, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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