But, the officers concluded that “due to the significant level of impact the proposals would have in terms of the vitality and viability of the town centre, such a contribution would not off-set the negative impact sufficiently to justify changing the recommendation.”

Dr Richard Doidge’s independent report came under fire from Shipston’s pro-supermarket Labour district councillor, Jeff Kenner, who said it only took into account the views of those against the supermarket.

Dr Doidge said Cllr Kenner was clearly entitled to his opinion, but defended his report. “This letter is not flawed,” he said, “and continues to provide a concise, robust and balanced assessment.”

Stratford District Council’s planning committee (east) meets tonight at 6pm in Shipston High School to consider the plan.