CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a national supermarket in the heart of the Lake District are being recommended for approval.

Opinion has been polarised since Sainsbury’s unveiled plans to open a 14,000sqft store on land next to Hayes Garden World on Lake Road, Ambleside.

Following a consultation period the Lake District National Park Authority has received mixed responses from residents and relevant organisations.

An extensive report, recommending the plan is approved, will go before LDNPA’s development control committee next Wednesday.

Sixty-nine letters of objection were received - raising issues such as retail impact, traffic, landscape, noise, sustainability and flood risk.

The plan has also attracted criticism from Lakes Parish Council, Friends of the Lake District and the Ambleside Civic Trust.

The parish council said the development would have an ‘adverse affect on, and harm the character of, Ambleside’.

But the plan, which Sainsbury’s claim will create 100 full and part-time jobs, has also received 154 letters of backing for having the store in Ambleside.