A PLAN to build Lidl and Home Bargains stores on a former auction house site will be recommended for approval when councillors consider the scheme today.

The supermarket and discount shop have been proposed for the former Addison's Auctioneers site, on the edge of Barnard Castle, which shut in August 2015.

The Auction Rooms, off Roman Road, would be demolished to make way for two new retails units with car parks. They could be occupied by any suitable retailer but applicant Consolidated Development Projects Limited has already confirmed Lidl and Home Bargains are the intended operators.

The council received 27 letters of objection from residents and businesses, including Morrisons which has a store in the town centre, and Marwood Parish Council. Concerns include the potential harm to the town's traders, road safety particularly around school time and the impact on residents of Prospect Place and High Rigg.

But there were 102 letters of support from residents who think it could boost the local economy and retail offer and welcome the 60 jobs it could create.

Barnard Castle Town Council backed the proposal, though raised concerns about access from the A688 and pedestrian safety.

Planning officers will recommend outline planning is approved when the committee meets at County Hall, Durham, at 1pm today, subject to a Section 106 payment of £6,000 for offsite ecological mitigation and other conditions.