A controversial proposal for a new Tesco Express in a Suffolk seaside town has been approved by local councilors, despite recommendations to reject it because of flooding concerns.

The application for a 2,800sq ft Tesco Express on the outskirts of Aldeburgh also includes five flats above the store and 18 permanent parking spaces.

Planning officers had advised members of Suffolk Coastal District Council to reject the proposals because of flood risk to the flats, but on Friday councilors voted 5-4 in favour of the development.

The council had received 374 letters of objection to the plans, against 269 in support. Opponents are concerned about the impact on independent retailers in the town, which currently has two Co-ops, as well as on traffic.

Naomi Tarry, chairman of the Aldeburgh Business Association, said the council approved the plans “despite overwhelming local opposition to Tesco and good planning reasons to object”. She added: “It’s like David fighting Goliath.”

The developers, Pigeon, said it hoped to start work on the scheme in the summer.