A DECISION on an application for a new discount supermarket has been deferred to allow further discussion over protecting part of a former colliery community’s mining heritage.

Durham county councillors were considering plans by German retailer Lidl for a new store on land south of Boyd Street in Delves Lane, Consett.

The scheme involves knocking down the existing buildings to create the outlet and a car park for customers.

But North-West Durham MP Laura Pidcock wrote to the authority asking for the archway, which led to the former Victory pit site to be protected with planning conditions.

She said: “While I welcome this development for the area and would happily support it, I feel there needs to be some guarantee that the cultural and historic heritage of the site is maintained. Delves Lane has a proud heritage of mining in the area,

“It would be a scandal if the archway that leads into the former mining site was removed.”

Members of the north area planning committee meeting decided to defer the decision so further discussions can take place with Lidl in a bid to retaining the former colliery arch. As part of its application Rapleys, on behalf of Lidl, said: “The applicants and their project team will continue to engage with the community throughout the application process.”