MORE than 100 people turned out to debate plans for two edge-of-town supermarkets in Leominster.

Developer Morbaine is looking for permission to build a superstore on Southern Avenue while Sainsbury’s wants to set up shop on Mill Street.

Guest speaker was Richard Hadley, who led a successful campaign against plans by Tesco and Sainsbury’s to move to Ledbury.

Views for and against the proposed stores were heard in the debate, chaired by Leominster Councillor Felicity Norman.

John Turner, agent for Morbaine, said the company wanted to engage with the public.

“Morbaine thought it was going to get Sainsbury’s to occupy the site and it was a big surprise to Morbaine when the big Sainsbury’s plan at Mill Street was announced,” he said, adding the firm was now talking to other retail chains.

Simon Hoare, consultant to Leominster firm F H Dale of Mill Street, where the Sainsbury’s store is planned, said Dale planned to relocate to a bigger factory and Sainsbury’s would be Dale’s tenant on the old site.

Pete Blench, spokesman for the event organisers, said he was very pleased by the high turnout. “Clearly, the superstore issue is of huge interest in Leominster and we had a very cordial debate,” he added.