Plans for a new Lidl on the Hertfordshire and Essex border have been approved.

East Herts District Council’s planning committee green-lit proposals for a supermarket in Stansted Road, Bishop’s Stortford.

The site is currently occupied by the Gates of Stortford Ford showroom and garage, which is being “vacated”.

Lidl and Whittam Cox Architects have said their plans would create 40 new jobs in the northern part of Bishop’s Stortford and – combined with various highways improvements and associated works – would represent a total £12million investment into the area.

At a meeting on Wednesday, December 7, East Herts District Council staff warned councillors the project represents a departure from the district’s development blueprint – which earmarked the land for industrial rather than retail use – but noted they should approve the scheme based on a “direct benefit” to the economy.

A neighbour, Cheryl Sauvary, spoke in opposition to the design, calling on Lidl to reconsider its plans for the entrance into the proposed car park, a change in fencing to reduce the store’s impact on neighbours, and a roundabout on the B1383 Stansted Road to minimise congestion.

She added she and her daughter – who is vulnerable and disabled – live on the street and fear the impact of increased traffic on an already busy road.

Mrs Sauvary said: “What you decide here could be life changing for our family and we do not want to have to put our daughter into a residential care home.”

Councillor Mione Goldspink, speaking as a community advocate rather than planning committee member, said the project is “controversial” and urged her colleagues to consider the traffic impacts of the scheme carefully.

Cross-party councillors were reminded Hertfordshire County Council as the highways authority raised “no in-principle objection” to the proposals.

Planning officers told the committee the scheme would bring about a 1,000 per cent biodiversity net gain, with hedges, trees and landscaping.

Councillors voted to grant permission for the new Lidl supermarket subject to 35 planning conditions.

Work must not begin until East Herts District Council has had a chance to view detailed landscaping proposals, and officers said they would seek to ensure any designs are drawn up in consultation with neighbours.

The developer must not start work before drawing up detailed designs for a new set of traffic lights controlling entry to the store, as well as designs for a new southbound bus stop for the 301 Saffron Walden and 306 Clavering buses.

The impacts of lighting must be “minimised” and no home delivery service can be provided from the Stansted Road store.

A design statement by the developer reads: “The proposed scheme seeks to bring a new foodstore offering to this part of Bishop’s Stortford by redeveloping an existing commercial site, whilst also providing wider choice to consumers and generating new employment opportunities.

“This proposal will be constructed to a high quality with sensitivity to the local environment, employing contemporary and sustainable design and materials to create an attractive, high-quality building which is appropriate to its surrounding built environment.”