TESCO’S bid for a supermarket in Walton has been dealt a blow after Frinton and Walton Town Council voted overwhelmingly against it.

The company has applied to build a store at the front of the Martello Caravan Park.

All but one of the town council’s 16 members voted against the plan. Iris Johnson abstained.

Tendring Council is set to decide on the application on Wednesday.

Councillors agreed the supermarket would harm the vitality of the surrounding towns and villages.

Brian Johnson said: “People have mortgaged their homes for their shops here.

“If this goes ahead, those people will suffer badly. They could lose everything.

“We need to think of those people who have put so much of themselves into establishing a business.

“We need to bring something to the town that will feed the High Street, not draw people away, otherwise we will end up with a ghost town.”

David Lines said: “The economic drivers of this country are not the Tescos or the other major supermarkets, it is the small businesses. Their owners put body and soul into them.”

Alongside the effect on local businesses, councillors cited highway concerns and a failure to promote Walton town centre.

They added a note saying if Tendring Council is mindful to approve the application, they would like to see a fully-equipped doctors’ surgery included in the plans.

Tesco’s proposals include a 323-space car park and footpaths from the site in Kirby Road to the High Street to encourage people to shop in the town.

A Tesco spokesman said: “The town council’s decision is disappointing, but we know there is significant support for our plans in Walton and the surrounding area.

“We are continuing to talk to residents and businesses on our proposals and hope Tendring Council will be able to make its decision this summer.”