TESCO is celebrating after winning a battle to create a superstore at Aldershot.

The company has been given the go-ahead to increase the size of its Wellington Avenue supermarket by a quarter.

This will allow it to sell a wide range of clothes and electrical goods as well as food and health care products.

Tesco's original application was thrown out by Rushmoor Council planners on the grounds that it would take trade away from the town centre.

But the company's appeal for the decision to be overturned has been upheld following an inquiry by a Government inspector.

He decided that the "vitality and viability of the town centre would not be unduly harmed by the proposal."

In his report he stipulated, however, that no more than 20 per cent of the total sales area should be devoted to the new range of goods.

At the inquiry the company agreed to strengthen travel links between its out-of-town store and the main shopping centre.

These links will include a half-hourly shuttle bus service during week-day working hours, and improved footpaths and cycleways.

A council spokesman said: "We are disappointed with the decision but not totally surprised. It was a finely balanced argument.

"We are trying to consolidate the town centre, whereas Tesco threatens to pull business away."

He added that the council would be keeping close watch on the company to ensure that it conformed to the inspector's ruling.