MAJOR plans to build an Aldi supermarket have been approved.

The plans, on High Street, Royston, have been given the thumbs up by Barnsley Council officers - not by councillors on the planning committee.

The plans are for a supermarket with parking, landscaping and ten houses.

The land was once used as a factory but has been vacant since 2009.

Coun Tim Cheetham said the situation is unusual, as it is a large, mixed-use planning application.

"It's not a normal application," Coun Cheetham added. "When I found out the plan was to be approved by officers, and not to go through the planning board, I had my reservations.

"I've sent two emails to the council that express that I'm uncomfortable with such a large application like this not going to the vote.

"When Aldi held hefty public consultations, their feedback showed more than 95 per cent of people who attended were in favour of the plans.

"This is a supermarket which the majority of people in Royston want, but what I don't want is for it to become okay to pass applications as big as this when there's quite a big divide over whether it should be built or not."

Following the public consultation, a pedestrian crossing on High Street was incorporated into the design plans after residents highlighted the need for one.

A spokesman for the council said: "Only eight to ten per cent of applications go to the planning board.

"These are usually plans which people have expressed a lot of objection to, but in the case of Aldi, the supermarket has had a lot overwhelming support, which has worked in its favour."

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