Applause broke out in Swindon's council chamber when councillors approved an application to build an Aldi in Highworth.

The same plan had previously been approved by the committee last June - but was quashed when Mid-counties Co-operative, which runs the only supermarket in the town, took the matter to the High Court.

This time planners at Euclid Street recommended that the committee reject the application, on the grounds that a supermarket on the northern edge of town, at the Blackworth roundabout on Lechlade road would damage the fortunes of the town centre.

But that cut little ice with councillors.

Ward councillor Steve Weisinger, not a member of the planning committee, told his colleagues: "Fifty per centre of people leave the town to do their food shopping because of the lack of choice."

Simon Glover, from the German supermarket chain said: "Nine per cent of people from Highworth drive to shop at Aldi in Swindon. Presumably many would stay in Highworth and would do more of their shopping in the town."

Councillor Nick Martin said he wanted to give residents the choice: "Where I live I have three major supermarkets I can go to easily if I want to, I see no reason why Highworth residents should not have the same opportunity

Coun Fionuala Foley said: "I wasn't on this committee when it last decide this application. I have come to this anew and read all the papers. I do not agree that this would hurt the town centre."

But one councillor, Coun Stan Pajak, disagreed. He said: "The supermarket will have a meat counter, a flower stall. It is bound to have an impact on the town centre. Faringdon had a town centre supermarket, then two or three opened up on the edge of town and it was the one in the centre which closed down.”

After the plan was approved by eight votes to three a spokesman for Aldi said: “Following the significant level of support received from local residents, we are delighted that councillors have recognised the numerous local benefits a new store would bring and have voted to approve the scheme.

“We are committed to delivering a new, high quality food store for the residents of Highworth in order to improve consumer choice and deliver much-needed employment opportunities. We look forward to concluding the necessary agreements with the council before starting construction work as soon as possible."

Mid-counties Co-operative declined to comment.