Campaigners are optimistic they have done enough to convince an inspector to allow Morrisons to extend its main town store.

A public appeal hearing against Braintree Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for the supermarket, in Braintree Road, Witham, took place last week.

Proposals to expand the size of the store by 70 per cent were rejected in February due to fears it would have a negative impact on Tesco’s town centre supermarket.

A Morrisons spokesman said: “We were very heartened by the display of public support which was cross-party and across different parts of government.

“The passion of local residents we hope will be not only listened to, but also heard.

“We are waiting for the inspectors’ verdict and our professional team has put forward quite a robust case to him.”