Tesco is due to open a supermarket in the Norfolk town of Sheringham this week, ending a 17-year planning dispute with local traders.

North Norfolk District Council finally approved the controversial development three years ago, amid concerns that the supermarket would harm local town centre trade.

The store said it would make £1,000-worth of donations to the local community.

Norfolk retailer Nigel Dowdney, who has experienced the impact of an incoming Tesco at his nearby store in Stalham, was involved in a campaign against the Sheringham supermarket.

“I haven’t found an example of a supermarket opening in a town centre which has had a positive effect,” he said. “I asked former chief excecutive Terry Leahy and the PR department to find an example for me, but they couldn’t. Local MP Norman Lamb did the same, but also didn’t get a reply.”

But Tesco managing director Chris Bush said: “A referendum in the town showed a majority in favour of a supermarket in spite of one of the most active, widely-reported protests against a store.”