A new battle is set to ensue over controversial plans for a Tesco Express store in Colchester.

Colchester Council threw out plans for a store on the site of Cherry Tree Garage in Mersea Road earlier this year.

Residents had complained the store could lead to extra traffic on to an already busy road.

And they said the store would trigger the deathknell of the shops which had served the community.

Colchester Council rejected the plans and, at the time, delighted residents claimed victory.

But now there is to be another round of battle as Tesco has appealed against the decision.

The merits of the scheme, which includes 13 residential units, will now be considered by a Government inspector.

Campaigning councillor Dave Harris urged residents who fought the plans the first time to stand up and fight again.

Mr Harris said: "More than 700 people signed the petition against the plans last time and I would encourage people to write with their objections again.

"The store would not be in keeping with the area. It is also on a busy road and the extra traffic will be dangerous for people using Mersea Road.

"In addition, it will be detrimental to the other shops in the area.

"It also goes against the council's strategy for south Colchester."

He added: "The site is a mess because it has taken so long but we need residental houses along there, not a shop."

Colchester Council's planning officers had rejected Tesco's application because it went against council policy.

The decision notice said the site was outside a designated retail centre in an unsustainable out-of-centre location and that a Tesco Express would have “a negative effect on the viability and vitality” of nearby shops.

The design was described as “an unsatisfactory appearance detrimental to the surrounding area”.

Mr Harris said he was not surprised Tesco had decided to appeal against the decision but he said people must make their objections heard.

He said: "I am going to make representations and I hope others do so too."

Anyone wanting to make representations should write in triplicate to the Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/16 Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN. Letters should arrive by January 9.

People power has previously defeated plans for a Tesco Express at the junction of Maldon Road and Drury Road.

Colchester currently has Tesco Express stores at Crouch Street, Bromley Road, St Christopher Road on the St John’s estate, and Barfield Road, West Mersea.

No-one from Tesco was available to comment.