A senior councillor has labelled the decision to allow a supermarket to extend its flagship town store as “perverse”.

Earlier this month an independent planning inspector overturned Braintree Council’s refusal to allow Morrisons to expand its store in Braintree Road, Witham.

The council had argued that allowing the supermarket to extend would have an adverse impact on Witham’s town centre trade.

But inspector Melvyn Middleton stated Cofunds’ recent move to the town, plus the prospect of new homes, would negate any impact.

Lady Patricia Newton, Braintree Council cabinet member for planning, said: “To a degree we are of course disappointed with the inspector’s findings.

“There are contradictions in the inspector’s decision and some would say the decision was perhaps a little perverse."