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Council backs Tesco building plan

Residents of Seaton have stated their preference for a supermarket-led regeneration plan, but the district council is supporting another retailer’s scheme.

Although a majority of Seaton’s residents prefer the regeneration scheme proposed by Sainsbury, the East Devon District Council has backed the proposal put forward by Tesco.

Councillors support Tesco’s bid as Sainsbury’s regeneration plan does not adhere to the town’s planning policy. However, they have admitted that “the great majority” of the local residents have voiced their preference for the Sainsbury scheme.

According to one local source, public sentiment had turned against Tesco after it was wrongly blamed for the closure of a holiday camp which was earlier located on part of its premises.

Tesco has also obtained permission to redevelop part of Seaton’s designated regeneration area with homes, a petrol station and a hotel. Its plans include a £1.7 million visitor centre.

The retailer will also contribute to upgrade Seaton’s medical facilities and pay for the employment of a town centre manager for three years.

In a separate decision, councillors also approved an application from developer Axe Riverside to build homes on former industrial land near the Tesco site. Of the 80 homes, 40 per cent will be designated as affordable.