A new supermarket will be built on the site of a former working men’s club in Rotherham after planners accepted land earmarked for housing should be used for the project.
Dalton Progressive Working Men’s Club closed in 2016 and the building was demolished in February following a serious fire, leaving the site of the club, its car park and open land to the rear free for development.
Rotherham Council had earmarked the front of the site, facing Doncaster Road, for shops, with housing on the rear of the site but decided to give the whole site over to a project which will now see the land developed for a Lidl store, which is expected to employ around 40 people.
Although the site was partially set out for housing, those intended homes did not form part of the long-term plan for new homes set out in the recently adopted Local Plan for the district, meaning the council had the flexibility to change its mind over the use of the site.
Coun John Turner told the meeting that while he welcomed the prospect of a new store in Dalton, he was concerned the trade it would attract would act as “constraint” on traffic, with a pelican crossing nearby expected to be used increasingly by those walking to the store and acting as a choke on traffic moving on Doncaster Road.
The council’s highways experts raised no concerns about access to the site, visibility or traffic density levels when the plans were being appraised, however.
Coun Stuart Sansome also sought reassurance that a ‘buffer’ of green land around the car park and store would be protected by a fence or wall from intruders entering from a footpath which runs along the rear boundary of the site.
Lidl have confirmed they intend to secure that area of the boundary.