Once Tesco had announced that it was abandoning 49 of its development projects, the decision to sell some of the sites for residential development was almost inevitable.

The mothballed projects included several sites in London and the south east of England, where housing demand is high. In addition, the good transport links and connections to town centres, that retail sites need if they are to have a realistic chance of obtaining planning permission, also make the sites attractive for house builders.

The move is likely to be welcomed by local councils and central government, who could benefit from an unexpected windfall when it comes to housing numbers. After all, when it comes to establishing a five year housing land supply, Every Little Helps.

For communities who had hoped for the regeneration and revitalisation of an area that often follows in the footsteps of a new food store, today's announcement may be more bittersweet.