Tesco today launched a legal challenge to one of the remedies recommended by the Competition Commission’s two-year long probe into the grocer sector.

The UK’s largest grocer has lodged its application with the Competition Appeal Tribunal to challenge its proposal to introduce a competition assessment into the UK planning system.

Tesco corporate and legal affairs director Lucy Neville-Rolfe said: “We are pleased that, once again, the Commission has found that the groceries sector is broadly competitive and delivers a good deal for customers. We are appealing on just one aspect of the final report and remedies.”

The competition test would be applied to planning decisions on large stores and includes action to prevent land agreements restricting competitors from entering the market. The test has been proposed in an attempt to ensure that consumers in areas dominated by one retailer do not lost out.

Neville-Rolfe added: “The competition test would not address the planning barrier identified. Perversely, it would introduce another barrier into the planning process. The bureaucracy involved would increase delays and costs – and could even jeopardise long term regenerative schemes – at a time when Tesco is working hard to keep prices low for customers.

“Planning decisions should be taken by local people who understand what their community needs and it is a matter of principle to Tesco that customers, not regulators, should decide where we shop.”