Developers hoping to turn a St Ives pub into a convenience store have been given the go ahead.

Plans to extend the Manchester Arms were approved by Huntingdonshire District Council's development management panel, on Monday, despite opposition from town centre businesses.

The Pegasus Group submitted plans on behalf of Uavend LLP, which bought the Needingworth Road pub last October, for an extension which would allow developers to convert the site into a retail unit and customer parking.

Jane Waters, who owns Time for Health, in Station Road, said supermarket chains capitalising on the growing market of convenience shopping were hijacking shoppers from the town centre.

"It is a very sad day for St Ives town centre and it is an outrageous decision," she told The Hunts Post. "St Ives town centre is the hub of the community. It is beyond reason that the council is supporting out of and edge of town shopping."

Steve Male, who runs Budgens, in Sheepmarket, wrote to HDC saying he had already seen an eight per cent drop in trade and the development could force his shop out of business.

It is not known which supermarket will operate the store, which will be a similar size to the Tesco Express store in Somersham.