COUNCILLORS will be told to reject plans for a new Tesco supermarket in Ross-on-Wye when they come to make their decision next week.

The retail giant has targeted a site off Overross Street which will create around 200 jobs and free parking for 260 cars.

Around £450,000 has also been set aside to cover highways improvements, with £225,000 allocated to invest in projects in the town.

But, Andrew Banks, case officer at Herefordshire Council, has recommended that councillors refuse the proposal when they meet next Wednesday.

"The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposal would not have a significant adverse impact upon the viability and vitality of Ross-on-Wye town centre," said Mr Banks.

"The local planning authority consider that the proposed development would be likely to adversely affect the character of Ross-on-Wye conservation area.

"The proposal would also result in the loss of existing employment land."

Ninety-four letters of objection, as well as a petition signed by 16 people, have also been received by the council stating that people would be discouraged from visiting the town centre shops and a new supermarket would affect tourist trade.

Morrisons and Ross Labels have also expressed their concerns, while the Association of Ross Traders feel that it would have a negative impact on the sustainability of the town.

However, Tesco does have the support of 71 people who have submitted letters to the council.

They believe that the supermarket would be 'good for competition', would provide new employment opportunities and will reduce travel costs of people going to Hereford or Gloucester to shop.

"Ross-on-Wye is a thriving market town and we want to play our part in supporting local projects and initiatives that will build on that success," said Simon Petar, corporate affairs manager at Tesco.

Mr Petar added that that the Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth Sea Cadets will move to a new site on the Overrross garage site, owned by Tesco.

Meanwhile, Tesco has submitted an application for a premises licence for a new Tesco Express in Hereford.

As reported by the Hereford Times, the store is set to replace the former Buckingham Inn pub on Whitecross Road.

Tesco wants the licence to run from August 10, with it trading from 6am to 11pm.

The firm has also confirmed that its Express store in Ledbury Road is currently closed for refurbishment.

It is due to re-open on Saturday, July 19.