Sheringham always stikes me as a town out of time. With no large supermarket it has a high street to make any other town envious. With lots of shops owned by local people it has more than one independent butcher, green grocer, fishmonger, and book shop, and a myriad of other small shops – shoes, toys, health food shop, haberdashery and more.

Tesco wants to build a supermarket and the issue has divided the town. Although the alternative eco-Waitrose further complicates the matter.

What I think many of those supporting Tesco fail to see is that it is a choice between Tesco and the existing shops. A high street like this will not survive with a large supermarket in the mix. The other shops will disappear to be replaced by empty shops and later tatty tourist wares. Just like so many other high streets across the country. Not only those shops in competiton will go, but as no one but the tourists will venture into the high street – the other shops are likely to vanish too.

And of course local shops are not necesarily more expensive. Often they are cheaper for many things especially fruit and veg, but beaten by the mass marketing of selected cheap lines. And you invariably spend more on things you don’t need when the shelves are full of products that the supermarket wants you to buy.

Paradoxically you often end up with less choice despite the apparently over flowing shelves. You can’t go into a supermarket and request that they stock something you want, unlike an independent shop.