A decision over planning permission for the controversial siting of a Lidl supermarket has been delayed until September.

The German supermarket chain plans to build a supermarket on the site of the former Cleveland College of Art & Design, latterly the Northern School of Art, in Green Lane, Linthorpe, which was demolished last year.

The planning application was due to be considered by Middlesbrough Council’s planning and development committee on Friday (July 21).

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But it was deferred after the company submitted new information, also contacting individual members to alert them to changes to the plans.

In the presence of dozens of members of the public, who packed out a committee room at the town hall, committee members decided to defer matters until their next meeting in September so more time could be given over to consideration of various documents.

The proposal sparked controversy when many local residents were angered by the mass felling of trees on the site in preparation for the required works.

Lidl previously said it would fund new tree planting and an existing hedgerow would be maintained and extended.

Planning officers at Middlesbrough Council had recommended refusal of the plans, suggesting that they represented an unsustainable development.

A report said there were alternative sites the council considered more appropriate given the scale of the building.

Other criticisms included the mass, design and materials for the commercial development which were considered to be “visually dominant and out of character” with the existing residential street scene and the Linthorpe conservation area. 

The report said there could be a detrimental impact in terms of overbearing and a loss of outlook for neighbours on the northern and western boundaries of the plot.

It also described how the internal site layout design, along with the proposed Green Lane vehicle access, service area location and car and cycle parking layout is considered to result in a “detrimental impact on highway and pedestrian safety and the free flow of traffic”. 

The store, as provided for in the existing planning application, would have a footprint of 1,895 square metres, while parking for 94 vehicles would be created.

Meanwhile, 40 new jobs could be also created.

The council had received a total of 339 letters of objection from members of the public, although a greater number of letters sent were actually in support – 612 in total – along with a petition with 49 signatures on it.