Residents objecting to a new Lidl store in Linthorpe erupted in applause after councillors roundly rejected the plans.

The supermarket chain wanted to build a store on the site of the former Cleveland College of Art and Design on Green Lane in Linthorpe.

All members of Middlesbrough Council’s planning committee attending the committee agreed to turn down the proposal after hearing officers and residents’ concerns about road safety, layout and visual impact.

Lidl came under fire when it chopped down trees on the Green Lane site in 2021. Resident and former councillor, Jackie Elder told the packed meeting: “We are the local people in a conservation area and we cannot even chop a branch of a tree in our gardens without planning permission.

“They chopped down 19 trees which were actually mature and the habitats of bats and very rare butterflies dedicated by than no greater person than David Bellamy himself.

Darlington and Stockton Times: A computer generated image of the proposed Lidl supermarket in Linthorpe.

“This was a little oasis in Middlesbrough. It is leafy Linthorpe and people saved up their money for years and years to come and live in this respectable, residential and conservation area.

“We do not need it to be desecrated by these people trying to commercialise it. The highest law in this land has stated that anybody who comes into Belgravia and attempts to turn it into Bermondsey is not acceptable.”

Lidl said it had worked hard to address highway and pedestrian safety concerns with further proposals including the closure of Thackeray Grove, new crossing points over Green Lane and Roman Road and tree planting. An agent for Lidl told the meeting: “In terms of design, we have provided direct pedestrian routes – more clear safe routes.

“We have looked into materials of the building, we have looked at further trees, moved cycle parking to safer locations, widened the internal footpaths for pedestrians. All in response to comments from the officer. There are plenty of things we have improved on over the course of the application.”

Closing Thackeray Grove would be “absolute lunacy”, said another resident attending the meeting. “I live at Walton Avenue, now already the traffic during school times, picking up times and teatime traffic that is an absolute hazard,” he said.

“If you are talking about shutting Thackeray Grove off, it is going to make my road a rat run, Kingston Avenue is going to be backed up and it’s just absolute lunacy that you are going to shut a road off that is the widest access to get out of Tollesby to accommodate a supermarket. It’s just crazy, it cannot go ahead.”

Some supporters had said the 1,895 sqm store would be welcomed due to the provision of “high-quality, low-cost products” and the creation of up to 40 new jobs. Another said it was “forward-thinking” as many shops in and around Middlesbrough town centre have been lost.

Committee member Cllr Ian Blades said he proposed the application being dismissed due to reasons given by officers and fellow committee members unanimously agreed.