BIG PLANS: An artist’s impression of the store ‘s access road
BIG PLANS: An artist’s impression of the store ‘s access road

PLANS for a new Lidl discount supermarket in Barnard Castle have been submitted to Durham County Council.

Along with the 20,882sq ft store at the former Addison auction house site on Staindrop Road, plans have also been lodged for a 15,000sq ft Home Bargains shop.

The developers, Consolidated Property Group (CPG), had considered other sites including Barnard Castle Auction Mart, in Vere Road, and Grove Works, in Queen Street, but these were rejected because of access problems.

CPG’s managing director, Martin Ridgway, said: “The auction house site has been vacant for three years and this development will bring a prominent and accessible brownfield site back into use.

“At the public consultation held in the town centre in late November, the vast majority of those who attended supported the scheme and the proposed retailers given the lack of choice in the town.

“These new stores will help address local shopping requirements as it is evident that most people drive to Bishop Auckland to do their main shopping. The proposed scheme will therefore deliver significant environmental and sustainability benefits by increasing the options for shopping locally, potentially reducing the need for longer car-borne journeys and associated vehicle emissions.”

The outline planning application indicates the Lidl store would employ about 40 people.

CPG said: “Lidl has a policy of employing local people from all backgrounds to work in their stores. This allows for a short commute to work and for staff to potentially work at short notice.” The application also includes a canopy with a trolley stand and parking for 144 vehicles, including nine disabled bays and 12 for parent and child car parking spaces.

Access to the site is to be via a T-junction. There would also be nine Sheffield-type cycle stands.

CPG said it hoped the plans would be approved before the end of June with an aim to start construction towards the end of the year.

The firm said: “It is likely that the proposed development would open in late 2020 or early 2021.”