Tesco today faced fresh accusations
it is killing off the high street after it won permission to sell electrical goods at an out-of-town store - despite council chiefs admitting it could hit city centre trade.The supermarket chain was allowed to build a superstore off the A140 at Harford Bridge in 1995 on the condition that it did not sell electrical goods.But the company asked South Norfolk Council's planning committee if that condition could be varied so it can use 44 sq m of floorspace to sell electrical goods.At a meeting yesterday, councillors unanimously decided to alter the agreement struck more than a decade ago to go to allow the firm to sell electrical goods such as kettles, microwaves, personal computers, toasters and table lamps. A spokesman for Tesco said: "Our customers have asked us to sell more electrical goods. This minor change in planning conditions will allow us to offer a wide range at great value prices."
Mike Jones, managing director of electrical superstore Bennetts, based in Hall Road, said: "It seems Tesco are able to get the nod from planning committees that other people find more difficult to get. As Tesco grows and is allowed to grow then they get closer and closer to having a monopoly. But what people have to realise is that ultimately it will reduce choice. When they get more of the market it reduces the market for somebody else."