FURIOUS residents shouted in disgust as they saw a challenge of a council decision not to challenge Tesco's Bourne End plans put down.
Just a single vote was enough to stop councillors forcing a review of the decision last night.
In a tense and dramatic 'recorded vote' all members of Wycombe District Council stated one-by-one whether they were in favour of sending back the decision to a special committee.
But 19 voted against it, pipping the 18 votes for the motion, proposed by Liberal Democrat Cllr Brian Pollock.
In an impassioned plea before the vote, urging councillors to back the motion, Cllr Pollock said while the original decision may have been 'the day democracy died' this decision would be 'the day
it was destroyed'.
There was colourful language from a highly passionate public gallery – which jeered and booed councillors who voted against.
There were a number of abstentions – and those councillors were labelled 'cowards' by the vociferous residents.
Huge controversy surrounded the previous meeting on February 8 when a stand-in chairman for the Regulatory and Appeals Committee voted twice for a motion to effectively pave the way for Tesco.
This is allowed under council rules.
Planning officers had advised councillors to accept the plans, saying the council would struggle to fight Tesco in a planning inquiry, which could incur huge costs.
In favour: D Anson, M Appleyard, S Bazley, M Blanksby, C Ditta, R Farmer, S Fowke, D Green, S Guy, G Hall, J Joseph, J Langley, J Mann, B Pollock, R Pushman, M Rafiq, T Snaith, J Wassell,
M Abdul-Karim, D Barnes, D Carroll, L Clarke, A Collingwood, R Colomb, D Cox, J Gibbs, T Green, C Harriss, J Malliff, H McCarthy, P Priestley, P Rogerson, R Scott, J Teesdale, C Watson, R Wilson, K
Abstention M Hussain, B Jennings, P Lambourne, W Mallen, J Savage, B Bendyshe-Brown, I McEnnis.
Not present at the meeting R Gaffney, D Hayday, A Jones, N Marshall, S Marshall, J Pritchard, V Razzaq M Saeed, J White, M Yasin.
Councillors who left the meeting before the vote towards the end:
D Shakespeare, Roger Emmett, David Devine, Alan Hill, Margaret Draper, Arif Hussain,
See links below for more background.