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PROTESTERS opposed to a massive new Tesco supermarket development in the heart of Scarborough have vowed to continue their fight.

The move follows yesterday’s announcement from the retail giant that the development would still go ahead despite a freeze on other expansion plans.

Malcolm Short, the chairman of the Scarborough Town Against Tesco Store group, said he had been expecting to hear that the move would still go ahead.

He added: “I didn’t expect that they were going to back down – we are still going to fight it.”

So far the group has received around 4,700 individual letters of objection to the plan and proposed closure of Trafalgar Street West.

Mr Short said: “Once they close the road off they will be delivered. Once they start the consultation period we will up the anti.

“Nobody knows who owns the land that Trafalgar Street West stands on and that could cause a future difficulty. I’ve no intention of giving up on that. It all depends on the road closure – which will have to go to the Secretary of State.”

The group handed in a 5,000-signature petition to the Government last year.

Yesterday Tesco bosses confirmed that the controversial store proposed for land off Dean Road was on schedule, amid reports it had been shelved.

Tesco was rumoured to have stalled on launching any new large supermarkets for the next three years.

However, Matt Magee, corporate affairs manager for the company, exclusively told the Evening News the £42 million Scarborough investment was still on Tesco’s radar.

He said: “The plans are still in place for our development programme and the funding is there. This is something that we want to do and want to invest in Scarborough. The project is looking good.”

Doubts over the development were raised after reports suggested Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke would slash spending in a new budget drive.

The move highlighted the possibility of Tesco deferring plans for larger supermarkets in favour of smaller convenience outlets.

However, owing to the company’s large backlog of developments in its portfolio, it will continue to open large stores for the next two years.