CONTROVERSIAL plans for a discount food store were approved by the borough council’s planning panel this week, the developer had tweaked the original scheme but concerns remain about its location.

Allerdale Borough Council’s development committee met on Tuesday, approving an application to build a Lidl next door to Workington Tesco.

Plans were originally approved in 2019 but the panel’s decision was overturned by the High Court.

Port Derwent Properties Limited brought the application back to planning after making tweaks to the proposal to placate concerns and Allerdale planning again approved it by five votes to four.

But Workington Town Council raised concerns about both schemes, believing that there were other sights more suited to a new supermarket.

Mayor of Workington Herbert Briggs said: “Competition is a good thing but whether it’s right on your doorstep…

“I don’t agree with it being right next door. I suppose people could say it’s the same with McDonalds and KFC.

“It’s another supermarket out of town. I think they could have been looking at getting a supermarket in the town centre.”

A process of sequential testing was carried out to identify a suitable site for the development.

Natural England raised no objections to the updated scheme after being initially sceptical about the foul water drainage scheme.

But Councillor Briggs said: “There’s a lot of people that haven’t got cars and that’s mostly the older generation.

“There’s a lot of people that haven’t got cars that still use public transport.”

Speaking after the meeting, planning panel member Paul Scott said: “It's important to say I'm in favour of the Lidl application, it will deliver some economic advantages and create greater competition among super markets which will only benefit our residents.

“However, I was very concerned that the highway plan had heavy goods vehicles and shoppers using the same entry/exit junction. As well as the position of a suggested crossing on what is already a very busy road. We already see delivery vehicles blocking the road at times to reverse into Tesco's delivery yard and this could be compounded by HGV's fighting to get in and out of another tight junction while avoiding a crossing, customer vehicles and shoppers.”