AHEAD of a crucial planning meeting in Christchurch, Asda made its position crystal clear in a statement to this newspaper yesterday.

If councillors approve another supermarket tomorrow night, it will pull out of plans to build a superstore in Bailey Drive putting, they say, hundreds of jobs at risk. The 11 planning councillors may not take kindly to this kind of statement.

They will doubtless make their decisions on the Beagle and Meteor proposals purely on material planning grounds. Threats by Asda to walk away if it doesn’t like the outcome of the democratic process is not one of them.