A scheme that aimed to transform a town centre has been rejected.

In what has been hailed "a great day for the town", Darlington Borough Council last night threw out plans to construct a Tesco hypermarket and 130 flats in the town centre.

It was also agreed that any future supermarket plans for that area of town would meet with a similar response.

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Last night, councillors and anti-Tesco campaigners said the town should look to the future and work towards redeveloping the Feethams site for the benefit of the community.

The recommendation to reject the scheme was moved by council leader John Williams. He moved that:

l The development offered by Tesco for the council's land be rejected;

l Any subsequent offer for large supermarkets or superstores on council land in the town centre not to be approved;

l The current position with regard to options for the future of the market to be noted;

* The Town Centre Board and other invited parties to work to develop a vision for the market and options for redeveloping the Feethams site;

* Appropriate consultation be undertaken during the development of a vision and options for redevelopment.

Coun Williams said: "We don't want to go through this again, the consultation was very clear and the people have spoken in that regard.

"This has also identified the high regard the public has for our markets and the historic town centre.

"It's my view that even if we received a planning application for a large supermarket on the periphery of the town centre or on the other side of the ring-road, that would not be appropriate."

The motion was carried unanimously.

Alan Coultas, of the Say No to Tesco campaign, said: "It's great to get to the endpoint of this and I'm especially glad to see that in the resolutions, no more supermarkets will be allowed."