Plans for new Tesco store in Swaffham unaffected by cut in number of new stores in the UK

Tesco has said it will continue its bid to open a new store in Swaffham, despite the firm's announcement today it would cut the number of new stores nationally by 38pc.

Proposals for the store on Castle Acre Road have divided the town council and sparked debate about the number of new jobs it would create and its effect on businesses in the town centre.

The retail giant submitted its formal planning application last month, but said it would build fewer new stores nationwide this year as part of a strategic rethink following a 1pc fall in UK profits.

Outlining its strategy for UK stores in its preliminary results for 2011-12, unveiled this morning, it said it would be 'pursuing other new opportunities only with high return characteristics'.

A spokesman said: 'Swaffham is not affected. We are still going ahead with the plans.'

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Breckland Council has yet to set a date to decide the planning application, but said it would not be on the agenda of May's meeting.

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