PLANS for up to three new supermarkets are in disarray as one proposal has been withdrawn after a lack of interest, one is struggling to attract an operator and a new Sainsbury's could struggle to get planning permission.

Sainsbury's announced plans to create 240 jobs by taking over the B&Q store at Stairfoot last month, after exchanging contracts with the DIY giant.

However, it needs approval from Barnsley Council to lift a restriction limiting the building to the sale of DIY products. Planning permission is also needed for other changes such as demolishing a builder's yard and garden centre.

But a source said its approval is 'unlikely to happen'.

It's understood the council's preferred site for any new supermarket is on Westway on the edge of the town centre - directly opposite Morrison's.

However, Stephen Smith, Sainsbury's property manager for Yorkshire, said it was likely the supermarket chain had already looked at that site and decided it wasn't for them.

He said: "If we do not get planning permission, we will not move in."

Uncertainty surrounding approval for the new Sainsbury's comes in the week it emerged the Westway site is struggling to attract any interest.

Meanwhile the developers behind another supermarket site - off Twibwell Street - have withdrawn their plans due to a lack of interest.

Peel Holdings Ltd wanted to build a 130,000 sq ft development with 700 parking spaces and a petrol station on land which includes the former Comet, a large gas holder, the former MFI and Power House stores.

Cllr Roy Miller said: "It's correct that a decision would rest on the change of use. However, it is still very early days - we haven't received a planning application yet.

"When we do we will then have to work through all the issues, as with any other planning application received."