BREAKING NEWS: Lidl and Home Bargains scheme approved for Barnard Castle
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
PLANS for Lidl and Home Bargains stores on the outskirts of Barnard Castle have been approved this afternoon.
Durham County Council's south and west planning committee approved the multi-million pound plans by eight votes to four at a meeting in County Hall, Durham.
The decision comes after planners received 27 letters objecting to the development and 102 letters of support. Planning officers said the scheme would not significantly harm Morrisons, which had lodged an objection, or shops in the town centre.
Summing up the debate, planning committee chairman Cllr John Clare said: "I find this an impossible decision to make because it is between a rock and a hard place. There has been a fear if we allow this it will significantly damage the town centre. Having said that, the local members, the local letters of support, the consultation – that is what they want. The reason Lidl will be a threat to the town centre is because it is so much cheaper for people to shop there. Do we have a right to say to the people of Barnard Castle you will pay more for your shopping?"
Work on the scheme will begin later this year, creating 60 full-time jobs. The retail development is proposed for the former Addison’s auction house site on the A688.
FULL STORY IN NEXT WEEK'S PAPER