BUSINESSMAN David Gliddon won his six-year fight to build a supermarket in Williton this week when a planning inspector ruled that the £7 million development would “support and strengthen” the village.
But there was dismay among opponents of the controversial scheme, who described the decision as “a black day for Williton” and “the death of the village as we know it”.
It was also claimed that changing retail trends could turn any future supermarket into a “white elephant”.
The inspector, David Wildsmith, allowed an appeal by J Gliddon and Sons against West Somerset Council’s refusal to grant permission for a supermarket, shops, homes and offices on the company’s land off Bank Street.
The scheme had been turned down three times by the council’s planing committee, although a smaller scheme involving a walkway into Fore Street was finally approved last February.
Mr Gliddon told the Free Press he was delighted with the result but frustrated that it had taken over six years to get the project off the ground.
Williton businessman Edward Martin claimed the decision marked “a black day for the village and the day when Williton lost its soul”.
He added: “Thousands of people signed petitions and made clear their feelings but Mr Gliddon had an expensive legal team and got his way.”
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