PLANS for a new supermarket in Sunderland have been put on hold amid fears for pedestrian safety.
Members of Sunderland City Council’s development control sub-committee deferred making a decision about proposals for a new Aldi north of Doxford Park.
Despite a recommendation by officers that the councillors approve the plan, which could create 20 jobs, members said they were not satisfied with the access layout, which they said could pose a risk to pedestrians with pushchairs or using wheelchairs.
The proposal is to demolish Croftside House in Knollside Close, and relocate residents, to make way for the new store, which Aldi says would enhance the area and be developed to fit in with homes at Hall Farm.
But the scheme has divided the community, with letters in favour and against the plans among the 141 sent to the city council.
Many of those objecting say the store will not be in keeping with the residential area, will attract antisocial behaviour, is too close to homes and will increase traffic problems.
However, those who support the move say it is a positive development for the area, creating jobs and providing a convenient shopping facility.
A petition signed by 430 people asking for the development to be refused was handed to the council and one of the people against it, Jackie McDonald, who lives just 30 feet away from the proposed store, spoke at the meeting.
She said: “Some people who agree do not live near or in this area.
“I would like to know how they would feel if it was outside their homes.”
The plans stated deliveries to the store would take place between 7am and 11pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 7pm on Sundays.
Coun Phil Tye said: “It is unacceptable that HGVs would be going in and out of there at that time of night with it being a residential area.”
Coun George Thompson said he was concerned that of the three pedestrian accesses to the site, the only one without steps involved crossing the car park where the delivery lorries pull in and then reverse into the loading bay.