LIDL’S latest application to build a £7 million supermarket in Hythe looks set to be granted after attracting more than 300 letters of support.

District councillors are being urged to approve the discount’s chain’s second attempt to gain permission for a 2,194 square metre store at St John’s Street.

Despite the promise of 40 jobs, Lidl’s previous application was rejected in May after councillors criticised the supermarket’s design.

Cllr Steve Rippon-Swaine described the proposed store as a “large tin box” that resembled the type of building normally found on industrial estates.

He told fellow councillors: “It would just sit there and ruin the rest of the village.”

A report to next week’s meeting of the planning and development control committee says the revised scheme features what it describes as a “more bespoke” design.

It adds: “What is now proposed is a much better designed building that is much more appropriate to its traditional town centre context.

“The bland mono-pitched roof has been replaced with a more varied roof form.”

But the report says the council’s conversation officer is still concerned about the supermarket’s impact on historic buildings surrounding the site.

“His conclusion is that the proposed building would still cause harm to the setting of the Grade II listed St John’s Church and, to a more limited extent, the listed buildings in St John’s Street.

“These conclusions are not disputed. The applicant’s own heritage statement accepts there will be some harm to the setting of adjacent heritage assets.”

However, the report says the planning officers should be authorised to approve the application, subject to conditions.

Lidl’s latest proposal has attracted 302 letters of support from residents, many of whom say the building is well designed and in keeping with the area.

But the council has also received 43 letters from objectors who claim the proposed development will create extra traffic problems as well as having an adverse impact on the conservation area.

Protesters include David Whiteside, of Hythe, who fears the supermarket could result in an extra 12,000 cars passing through the village each week.

He said: “While I personally believe in the quality of Lidl products and services, Hythe is not the place.”