A HUGE cheer was raised by over-joyed traders, residents and councillors for a decision to turn down a Tesco in the village.
The Harefield contingent packed a Hillingdon Council planning meeting to hear permission refused for the Tesco Express and three flats on The King's Arms site in Rickmansworth Road.
The store, which had been backed by half the 462 residents consulted by Tesco but opposed by more than 2,000 people who signed a petition, was rejected on planning grounds - mainly parking and potential problems with deliveries.
Ward councillors Richard Barnes and Henry Higgins spoke up for their constituents and there were impassioned pleas from residents George Caiger, for whom Harefield has been home for 50 years, and Duncan Mitchell, who has lived there all his life.
They all feared that if Tesco moved in, the High Street shops would die a slow death, and eventually their beloved village would become a ghost town.
Mr Barnes said: "We are a true community, one of the last villages in London with only 3,500 households. It is not enough to sustain a Tesco.
"We have our own shops and all of these matter to villagers."
Atul Sodha, who runs the Londis store in Harefield and has lived and worked in the village for 20 years, told councillors a Tesco would mean congestion and traffic chaos.
He said: "This would impact all of us for may years to come. Please use your powers wisely."
A Tesco representative said he thought villagers' and officers' concerns could be accommodated, but if the company appeals, protestors have vowed to fight with renewed vigour.