Tesco own land in Bideford that the council had allocated for housing development and a 1,000 square metre store and a row of small lock up shops. In early 2007 Tesco submitted a planning application for a much bigger store than the 1,000 sq m allocated. In January 2007 the Council received approximately 15 letters objecting to the store and a petition of 300 signatures was handed in. In February 2007 Tesco withdrew their application.
However, in May 2008 Tesco unveiled plans for a new 25,000 sq ft store, next to the Industrial Link Road in East-the-Water, at two public exhibitions. A planning application for a 21,000 sq ft (3,266 sq m) store was submitted to Torridge District Council.
On the 13th November 2008, Torridge District Council approved the application. The Government Office for the South West also approved the application in February 2009.