THE majority of residents are backing plans to transform a former school site into a shopping complex.

The proposed development would see Sainsbury's, Lidl, a pound shop firm and a frozen food store built onto Nanny Marr Road, on the former Foulstone site.

Developers Rothstone Estates arranged three meetings with local residents to outline their plans and also handed out leaflets for them to fill in.

The positive feedback is said to be about 99 per cent positive and even local businesses and environmentalists are in favour.

The secondary school closed its doors a year ago.

Cllr Brian Key attended the meetings, as did around 300 people from the area.

"We handed around 5,000 leaflets out ourselves to people in the district earlier this year too," he said.

"The meetings were unusual because it was all positive.

"The development would provide shops to the area and people would no longer have to go to Cortonwood or Stairfoot for their supermarket shopping.

"To have a Sainsbury's in Darfield would be unbelievable."

It's now the intention of the councillors to ensure the small number of issues that were raised can be addressed before a decision on planning later this year.

"We were quite surprised at the number of jobs that will be provided," added Cllr Key.

There is set to be four more units built on the same site, 80 jobs will also be created and spaces provided for 180 cars. There will be a mixture of two and three-bedroom houses.

If Barnsley Council approves the planning application, Rothstone Estates is hoping to start constructing the development next summer, which means the new shops could be open by the end of 2014.