FORTY jobs will be created after Trafford Council approved plans to transform a former computer and electrical shop into a popular discount food store.

Lidl had been seeking permission to redevelop a unit previously occupied by PC World at 750, Chester Road, Stretford — only yards away from a Tesco Superstore.

However, despite having the backing from a majority of residents and councillors, the manager of Stretford Mall, Gareth Wilkins, appealed to executives to reject the scheme.

Speaking during Thursday’s planning meeting he argued that allowing his tenants’ competitors to open in Gorse Hill would impact their businesses.

He said: “Declining the application would support the town’s regeneration and the council’s core strategy plans and revised Stretford Masterplan.”

Agent Jonathan Harper championed the application arguing it would have a positive impact on the area for various reasons.

He said: “Not only would the new store secure 40 jobs it will also bring a vacant unit back into use. In addition, the scheme is highways compliant with substantial parking available on site.”

Cllr Mike Cordingley, portfolio holder for finance, welcomed the venture and urged the committee to approve the application.

“Residents are in favour of these plans,” he said.

“They need a food store in the area that is good value for money.”

A planning report stated: “Works within the application site will include the reconfiguration of sections of the car park to provide 119 car parking spaces.

“The existing vehicular access to the site from Ravenswood Road is to be widened as part of the proposed works.

“A new pedestrian access to the site from Chester Road is included as part of the proposals and will be located adjacent to the existing bus stop on Chester Road.

“An external plant area is proposed adjacent to the new delivery/service area extension.”

Councillors voted unanimously to approve the application.