Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 09:21 UK

Tesco wins battle of supermarkets

Tesco plans
Tesco says its plans will bring thousands of people into the area

Tesco has beaten Sainsbury's in a battle to build a supermarket in an east Devon town.

Sainsbury's wanted to build a 25,000 sq ft store, while Tesco wanted to build one twice that size in Seaton.

Planners chose Tesco despite a poll by the town council that said Sainsbury's was supported by 95% of local people.

East Devon District Council Planning Committee said both applications had to be judged on their planning merits, not which company was behind them.

Following the meeting, town councillor Sandra Semple told BBC News that the new supermarket would put pressure on the existing independent shops and the Co-Op, which is about 8,000 sq ft.

"Sainsbury's would have been the better store for us," she said.

"It wasn't going to drain the life out of the town centre, whereas the Tesco store is gigantic."

The site is on land set aside for regeneration by the district council.

Tesco plans to build a visitor centre, cycle track, leisure and tourism facilities and new housing alongside the store.

It said the project as a whole would "help to attract thousands of new visitors to the area" and "form a long-term partnership with Seaton".

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