Tesco has dramatically ditched plans to build a superstore in Sherborne, Dorset, after admitting that protestors played a part in the decision.

The No Thanks Tesco group is celebrating after staging a hugely effective and ultimately successful campaign to prevent the multiple from developing a 28,000 supermarket on the site of a hotel on the edge of town.

Among the group’s achievements, 11,000 people – more than the population of the town - signed its petition, and its campaign gained both national media coverage and the support of local MP and Conservative cabinet member Oliver Letwin.

Tesco managing director Chris Bush said planning issues “drove this conclusion”, but the protestors also influenced it.

“Road access to the store site proved too difficult and expensive to resolve, the plan was not workable, so we did not submit an application,” he said.

“While the Sherborne protest was not the deciding factor, we did listen to it. When we say we consult communities, we mean it.”

A campaign spokeswoman tweeted: “Power to the people and hope for every other town! Never give up and work as a team!”

High street guru Mary Portas added: “Brilliant news for the people of Sherborne and their fantastic town. They’ve beaten Tesco! Well fought.”