Sussex towns and cities could be deluged with huge supermarkets if local powers of resistance are scrapped, councillors have warned.

The say traditional high streets could be replaced by sprawling retail parks if Government proposals are accepted.

Councillors in Worthing, who successfully defeated a plan to build an Asda in Durrington last year, urged ministers to rethink the plans which have come out of the Barker Review on future housing needs.

It has proposed that powers held by local councils, which allow them to object to supermarkets if there is not a "need"

for them, be scrapped.

Worthing borough councillor Robin Rogers said: "Every local shop I visit around Worthing is concerned about the effect that more gigantic supermarkets setting up out of town will have on their business and the high street generally.

"If the borough council cannot say no to supermarkets like Asda when they are not needed, how will we ever be able to stop them undermining the high street in Worthing?

"While residents have been campaigning to protect our high street and their local community, the Government is seeking to undermine our efforts and make it easier for big businesses to drive local shops out of business.

"I'm calling on the Government not to scrap the supermarket needs test and to give power back to our community so we can save our town centre and help it grow into the hub of our sustainable, vibrant community."