Tesco has been refused planning permission to build a superstore in a Suffolk town after 25 years of trying.

Councillors voted seven to six against approving the application for Hadleigh, contrary to recommendations from Babergh District Council’s planning officers.

Tesco first applied for planning permission in 1987 and its last bid was turned down in 2011. Since then Morrisons has opened a supermarket on the edge of the town.

Peter Beer, chairman of the planning committee, said: “The impact on the local highway network, the effect on the vitality of the town centre in retail impact terms and its design and impact on listed buildings were all fundamental to the council’s decision.”

A spokesman for the Hands Off Hadleigh campaign group said the superstore would have threatened the viability and vitality of the high street, especially in combination with the “even larger” Morrisons that opened in Hadleigh in early 2013, and would have created major traffic problems.

A spokesman for Tesco said: “We are disappointed by the decision as there were many people who supported a new store in Hadleigh. Tesco brings reals benefits to communities, including greater convenience and job creation.”