THERE has been an enormous amount of background noise surrounding the supermarkets controversy in Christchurch, where councillors have rejected two superstore applications. As the smoke clears from the battlefield, there’s one clear winner at least for now. Detailed plans for the Asda site at Bailey Drive will presumably be submitted shortly.

The two failed applicants are likely to appeal, a prospect that is already causing some considerable concern at council HQ as officers recommended approval for both. Hostilities are certain to resume sooner rather than later.