PLANS for new Lidl supermarket were refused last night over concerns it would have taken too much green space.

Councillors voted against the proposed Lidl store in Grove, which would have been build on a green field east of Grove Road, next to Elm Farm Business Park, an area occasionally grazed by sheep.

The desicion followed planning officers' recommendation to refuse the application, however, it was not unanimous.

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Vale of White Horse District Council Planning Committee, formed of nine councillors, had six members refusing, two supporting and one abstaining.

Charman Bob Johnston, who voted against the German supermarket chain, said the store would have had 'adverse impact as a retail outlet'.

He explained: "The key point that settled it yesterday was that the store would have encroached on the green space between Grove and Wantage.

"As a Liberal Democrat I feel very strongly about  keeping the community identity intact."

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The application, however, saw great support from Wantage and Grove residents who even launched a petition that urged the council to approve the Lidl plans.

Locals took to social media this morning to express their outrage. 

One Facebook user Jo Lambert commented: "Absolute joke. They wonder why we shop online or in other towns. Hundreds of new houses and no shopping facilities.

"A Lidl or Aldi is just what we needed."  

Another resident, Maggie Hale, also expressed her outrage: "Unbelievable! We’ll keep going to other towns to shop, Wantage is dying - more shops will stay empty."

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Many locals said they were dissapointed that the petition, which reached 300 signatures, did not impact councillors' verdict.

Charlotte Nicholls commented: "Such a shame all those signatures in favour they got in the market square haven't been listened to."