WORK on a multi-million supermarket is expected to started within three months after permission for the development was backed by planners.

The new Lidl supermarket on Delves Lane, near Consett, was approved by Durham County Council and is expected to create 20 new jobs for the area.

The retailer has agreed to retain a colliery archway after concerns were raised by North-West Durham MP Laura Pidcock and county councillors for the area, Jane Brown and Malcolm Clarke.

It is hoped the store will be open by the end of next year.

David Murphy, Lidl UK’s regional head of property, said: “We could not be more delighted to have received planning permission, and look forward to getting started on construction.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their continued support, and very much look forward to opening our doors and offering our fresh, quality, great value products in the not too distant future.”

The supermarket first revealed in August that it wanted to relocate its current store on Medomsley Road to a larger site in the area, as part of its ongoing expansion ambitions within the UK.

Facilities at the new store include an in-store bakery, customer toilets and parking for both cars and bicycles.

Permission was granted at recent planning meeting at County Hall in Durham.

Senior case officer Colin Harding wrote a report advising members of the committee to support the scheme.

He said: “The existing archway will be dismantled and rebuilt brick by brick to retain its character.

“The archway would be repositioned in an area of grassed open space within the site and would largely consist of the façade with associated pitched roof, together with the construction of associated brick piers to provide structural support.”