Plans to build two new supermarkets in Braintree could be thwarted over fears they could damage the town centre.

Councillors discussed a site near to Freeport, where a new Asda could be built, and Broomhills Industrial Estate which Sainsbury’s has put a planning application in for.

Both sites were previously allocated for employment use in Braintree Council’s Local Development Framework, which plans out how the district will develop.

Members of Braintree Council Local Development Framework Sub Committee agreed to keep these allocations rather than put the sites for retail use.

An ASDA spokesman said: “We certainly haven’t ruled the Freeport site out, but we would certainly consider other sites too – it’s still fairly early in the process.

“It’s clear that there’s a real public desire for what we offer, it’s just a case of finding the right site.

“We had a useful discussion with the council a couple of weeks ago and will hopefully have news in the new year.”

See this week's Times for the full story.