Permission to build a Lidl supermarket in Maryport is now only about two weeks away.

The supermarket has been delayed by nearly a year because of an objection from Sport England, which needed to ensure that sport pitches, which would be taken over by the supermarket, would be replaced.

It was announced this week that Sport England has now agreed to the plan and the legal paperwork should all be signed within a fortnight.

At that stage, planning permission will be formally granted by Allerdale council’s head of development services.

An Allerdale spokesman said: "We are delighted that we are about to sign off the legal paperwork which will allow work on the Lidl store development in Maryport to begin.

"The final details should be completed in the next two weeks."

Despite the delays, Lidl confirmed this week that it was still dedicated to building the supermarket.

A spokeswoman said: "While we can't confirm any timescales at this point, we are certainly still committed to the project and will be looking to start construction on site as soon as we have planning permission."

It would be the firm's largest supermarket in the country.

Allerdale Investment Partnership announced in July last year, that it had entered into a deal with the German company.

In November, Sport England submitted a holding objection and, during the past 11 months, three extensions have been allowed by Allerdale planners to try and resolve the body’s concerns.

After lengthy discussions with Sport England, an agreement is now being finalised which will ensure that the sports pitches on the Milltoft site are improved for community use, as has been promised since the planning application was submitted.

The pitches will be moved to a different part of the site, the drainage will be improved, and they will be clearly marked.  

The council is also making additional land available on Ennerdale Road in Ewanrigg for two more marked pitches to make sure there is enough capacity at these popular sporting facilities for all the teams which wish to use them, and for new teams in the future.

That will include a junior pitch and a training pitch, adjacent to Glasson Rangers.

This land is already in the council’s ownership and will continue to be managed by our environmental teams.

An Allerdale spokeswoman said the agreement will also ensure that the moving the current pitches on the Milltoft site, and the creation of the new pitches at Ewanrigg, is choreographed so that sports teams are never left without provision.