PLANS for a new Tesco superstore on the outskirts of Thame have been unanimously rejected by councillors in South Oxfordshire.

The supermarket giant had proposed to build a 4,765 sq m store at Kingsmead Business Park on Howland Road.

More than 1,200 letters both for and against the development had been sent to South Oxfordshire District Council by the time it came to the vote on Wednesday night.

In turning down the application planning officers said its size would "divert trade from the town centre and would have an adverse impact on its viability and vitality".

A group of residents, Thame Centre First, was set up last year in opposition to the plans.

Spokesman Andy Slater said: "We are very pleased. We have always said this is nothing against Tesco or supermarkets, but this development flies totally in the face of the neighbourhood plan which is all about retail development in the town centre.

"It would spell the end of a lot of the small individual shops in the town centre; there are two little bakers and lots of cafes and if all those were put in the Tesco they wouldn't survive.

"It has been a long battle and it may not be over; Tesco may decide to appeal to the secretary of state, whoever that may be."