A GROUP of Hampshire businesses is considering taking legal action against a council following a supermarket planning decision that will see the loss of 60 jobs.

Business owners at the Apex Centre on Newgate Lane in Fareham are joining together to start potential legal action after Lidl was granted planning permission to demolish and extend its current store by Fareham Borough Council.

It will put up to 60 at the business site at risk.

Kevin Arrowsmith, director of A & S Signs and Graphics Ltd, one of the firms facing closure, said: “We have completely lost faith in Fareham Borough Council and the businesses at the Apex Centre feel we have to take action against the council’s decision.

“We are just collateral damage in Lidl’s globalisation and we need to take legal action against the council to try and get the application revoked.

“The businesses are looking towards the environmental law foundation for help.”

As previously reported, the group said that they would look to buy the site from current owners the Rookery Estates in a bid to save their jobs and businesses.

As part of this, the group took part in a discussion with Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to potentially help fund the purchase of the site through their Growth Hub.

However, no deal has yet been agreed.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage also threw her support behind the businesses’ campaign.

Caroline said: “I want to express my full support for the Apex Centre businesses following the approval of Lidl’s planning application to Fareham Borough Council which will result in your units being demolished.

“My main priority is to help safeguard the business and retain employment locally and I will of course, support with whichever option(s) they chose to undertake.”

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: "The consent has been given by the council and there is not a way of taking councils to court over a planning decision."