FEARS over traffic chaos and lack of car parking could hit ambitious plans for a new town centre development in the heart of Northallerton.

Business leaders say it will be a huge bonus for the town, but some residents and traders are concerned.

Developers Hambleton District Council and regeneration company Wykeland Group revealed last week Lidl supermarket will be the main store on the site employing 40 people.

Plans for the scheme, which has been named Treadmills, also include another main store, independent shops, workspaces, restaurants, a cinema, an area for public events and a heritage centre with parking for 130 cars.

There was concern the scheme could take shoppers out of the High Street where there are already several empty shops. But Julia Chance of the Business Improvement District which represents companies in Northallerton said people have nothing to worry about.

“We are really supportive of Lidl coming into Northallerton," she said.

"It means scores of new jobs and that is always a benefit.

" work of the BID to increase footfall will mean there is plenty of space for more retailers in Northallerton to grow and prosper in the future.

“People should remember there isn’t sufficient parking on the site for all the retailers that are going to go there, so in order to get to the Treadmills people will need to use the town centre car parks and walk through. There is also investment in improving routes through the town.

“We really see this development fitting in with the High Street and making it a more attractive town to shop in.

"It's certainly better to have vibrant shops and business’ than to have nothing at all.

"I don’t think people have anything to worry about, if the BID does its job properly there will be more than enough customers to go round.”

Bill Burton of Maxwells Electrical said: "I am happy that something is going to happen to the prison site, another supermarket that’s fine, but there really needs to be more car parking.

"That is a large site, they could even have a multi-storey car park, that’s what is needed.”

Marcus Grover of Grover's Toys and Optics said there were fears over traffic problems and these had to be addressed.

"Highways need to ensure we don’t have another supermarket using large delivery vehicles reversing off a busy main road and causing dangerous chaos,” he added.

Consultation will be held on the planning application for the first phase of the site this summer, Lidl is due to be open late 2019.