Parents’ cheers rang out at a packed planning meeting as permission was given for an “innovative and unusual” joint plan for a primary school above a new supermarket.

The decision marked Deer Park School’s 18-month quest to find a permanent east Twickenham home after being housed in temporary classrooms at Richmond Adult Community College, in Parkshot, for its entire existence.

The site and a new Lidl downstairs at 391 Richmond Road, a disused office building, were unanimously approved at a Richmond Council planning meeting on Wednesday evening (February 8).

Councillor Paul Hodgins, the cabinet member for education, said: “This is great news. When the school opened no-one knew what is was going to be like – but this is a real success. It’s been a hard search to find a site for this school.”

Residents voiced concerns about increased traffic and pressure on parking spaces, as well as the safety of children in a school located on the Richmond Road, which is an A-road.

Andrew Lazarus, of nearby Morley Road, said: “Safety first should always be the priority. Children and lorries making deliveries to Lidl is not a good mix.”

Denton Road resident Sue Morris told the planning committee a new Lidl supermarket would take customers away from independent east Twickenham businesses.

She said: “(Opening a Lidl) would not be in keeping with the spirit of local independent businesses in the area.

“These retailers have served us faithfully. We know the council is under pressure to provide schools but we do not support this on the back of this Trojan horse Lidl.”

To protect local businesses, the planning application dictates the new Lidl will not be allowed to feature a fresh meat counter or a delicatessen counter, nor can it provide dry cleaning or pharmaceutical services, among others.

The planning committee heard how pressure for primary school places in the borough is such that some catchment areas are set at just 250 metres from schools’ front gates, and east Twickenham is one of the areas worst-served areas in Richmond-upon-Thames.

Parent Sally Prickett told councillors she was “proud” her son attends Deer Park School, and that she and other parents are looking forward to contributing to the east Twickenham community.

After some residents said they were concerned Ryde House, an old office block, would not be a good site for Deer Park School, headteacher Alison Colenso told the committee a good school is about “more than a fancy building”.

She said: “I am passionate about our school. We opened despite having few pupils. We promised parents their children would get a gold standard education.

“Those families stayed and they are here tonight. We have the highest returning rates of pupils in the borough.

“We provide places locally in this area; 67 per cent of our families have a TW1 postcode.”

Ms Colenso also said the school was committed to encouraging families to travel on foot, by public transport or by bicycle, and a condition of hiring new teachers would that they travel “sustainably” to work.