Norfolk town wins 14-year battle to prevent Tesco being built in town centre
The decision to instead opt for an eco-friendly supermarket has been welcomed by the residents of Sheringham, who have been protesting against the introduction of a Tesco for the past 14 years.
The Greenhouse Country Store, a project devised by Clive Hay-Smith, will be the greenest supermarket ever built - with rainwater harvesting, solar panels and an electric bus service.
Sheringham residents have won their fight to prevent a Tesco supermarket being built in their town
Mr Hay-Smith, a former president of media empire Pearson, said he was thrilled with the North Norfolk District Council's planning committee's decision.
He said: 'Tesco has run up against someone with the time, the money and the inclination - certainly the inclination - to take it on.'
However, Mr Hay-Smith has run into some opposition from locals after announcing last year he was enlisting the help of Tesco rival Waitrose to run the supermarket.
Clive Hay-Smith devised plans for the eco-friendly supermarket
But many are thrilled with the news that their town will host the greenest supermarket ever built.
Sheringham High School student Hope Worsdale told the council the store would encourage further eco-friendly development.
She said: 'It is the way forward with genuine values and beliefs which are needed to get us out of the mess we are in. The mess my generation will have to live with.'
Friends of the Earth's food campaigner Helen Rimmer said yesterday's decision was a positive sign.
She explained: 'Tesco controls a third of the UK’s grocery market and communities up and down the country are fighting back against its takeover of our towns and cities.
'It is now vital that the Government and local authorities bring in new policies to support independent shops and the local economy to give communities a genuine choice about where to shop.'
Tesco have been fighting for the right to build a supermarket in Sheringham since 1996, but were told by councillors it would damage the town's look, increase traffic and cause problems for independent local traders.
Tesco launched a legal challenge to the council's decision in September 2007 but the original decision was backed by planning inspectors.
The supermarket chain then submitted revised plans for a smaller store in the town last August.
Following yesterday's decision, a spokesperson for Tesco said: 'We're surprised. Planning officers made it clear that the Waitrose application would be detrimental to Sheringham town centre and local shops.
'The councillors' decision is at odds with government planning policy to protect the vitality of town centres.'