RESIDENTS have reacted in fury after part of one of the world’s oldest railway inns will be bulldozed to make way for a new Sainsbury's store. 

The decision was rubber stamped by Conservative members of Darlington Borough Council’s planning committee who voted in favour of the proposal for Platform 1 at Middleton St George. 

The controversial move was followed by cries of “outrageous” and “disgrace” by numerous residents who had attempted to persuade councillors that the building on the trackbed of the Stockton and Darlington Railway could be resurrected as a community-owned pub and hub.

Here’s what Northern Echo readers had to say: 

One commenter said: "I would urge Sainsburys to think again and pick a better location in the centre of the village."

Another reader said the redevelopment is linked to new housing plans in the area. They said: "Recent housing development along Yarm Rd and adjacent to the A67 has transformed the character and requirements of the village. A Sainsbury's will complete the transformation and supplement those needs.

However, not everyone slammed decision, instead claiming that local business must be supported by residents or they risk losing them. 

Readers said: "Lets see how many of the unhappy residents start using the shop once it's open for business ??? Probably use that shop more than they ever went in the pub."

Read more: Fury as Darlington Railway pub WILL be converted into Sainsbury's store

Echo comment: If Darlington isn’t going to fight for its place in history, who will?

'Stood empty looking an eyesore'

"Better being a Sainsbury's than stood empty looking an eyesore. Sainsbury's will be a good idea with all the new houses in the area being built."

'It looks hideous'

"As a pub the place has proven to be no longer economically viable and as such any argument to keep it/reopen it is doomed. I took a drive or rather a detour via Middleton St. George at the weekend specifically to look at Platform 1 and it looks hideous. One thing is for certain: it can't stay as it currently stands."

Over on Facebook, many readers agreed that the historic pub's closure is down to a lack of customers. 

Read more: Fighting Cocks: The popular pub which is a reminder of Darlington's railway history

'Support it while it's open'

Robert Sud said: "Obviously nobody likes to see a village pub vanish but perhaps the best way to stop it from happening is to support it while it’s open…

Gary Richardson added: "I wonder how many of those who are now complaining were 'regulars' at the pub

Mark Throw agreed, and said: "It spent more time closed down (not including Covid) than open. There's plenty of other nicer establishments close by.

While John Howard's succinct remark summed the scenario up. "Use them or lose them, it’s that simple," he said."