A care home which campaigners tried to save is to be bulldozed to make way for a bigger food store in South Tyneside.
John Rutherford and his supporters collected more than 5,000 signatures in a bid to keep Oakdale Lodge Care Home, in Stanley Street, South Shields, open.
Their efforts failed – with residents being shipped out last August – and now neighbouring budget food store Lidl has been granted planning permission by South Tyneside Council to expand on to the site.
Plans reveal the current Lidl store, in Boldon Lane, and the nearby care home are both to be flattened to make way for a bigger shop.
Mr Rutherford, whose father Jack, 82, died in December, just months after being moved from Oakdale, says the plans are no real surprise, but is saddened that the campaigners weren’t told of them an earlier stage.
He said: “We all worked so hard to try and keep the care home open.
“It was a lovely place, the staff were brilliant and everyone loved it there.
“Between our online petition and the signatures we gathered from standing on the streets and visiting pubs, we must have had in the region of 5,000 signatures.
“There were always rumours that the care home was closing to make way for the store to expand, but nobody would say for certain, so I’m not surprised by these plans.
“It just would have been good if those involved could have been more honest with us from the outset.”
A sign on the current Lidl’s door states that the shop will be closing on Wednesday, April 13 at 8pm
The care home site will be used to provide the new store with a 128-space car park.
The shop will be two storeys high on the west side, reducing to a single storey on the east of the building.
The application states: “The store will include a sales area, along with warehouse delivery area, freezer room, bakery, manager’s office and staff facilities.
“The site will accommodate a total of 128 parking spaces, including eight disabled spaces and six parent-and-child spaces, which are positioned close to the customer entrance.
“Cycle parking is also provided close to the store entrance.”
As part of the planning conditions, the store will only be open to the public between 7am and 10pm Monday to Saturday and between 10am and 4pm hours on Sundays and bank holidays.
Lidl did not respond to a request for comment.