Asda is lobbying for planning rules to be suspended in so-called 'Tesco towns', a move which would allow the WalMart-owned retailer to build giant out-of-town superstores on greenfield sites, The Sunday Telegraph has learned. Sunday Telegraph

The plan, included in a recent submission to the Competition Commission, is likely to spark outrage among environmental campaigners.

Details of ASDA’s proposals were exposed ahead of the publication of the Commission’s long-awaited remedies statement this week – as a two-year inquiry into the £120bn grocery market reaches its climax.

Documents posted on the commission’s website reveal that Asda lobbied the Commission to include its radical proposals in its own remedies statement.

Under the proposal local authorities would be given the power to suspend or vary key planning rules in areas where Tesco was deemed to have 'too many stores'. The planning rules include the sequential test, needs test and retail impact assessment. All three form a crucial component of the planning system and have been designed to protect town centres and avoid over-development.