Plans for new Lidl approved despite last minute objections from Tesco
PUBLISHED: 14:01 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:34 20 April 2018
Plans to build a new discount supermarket in Beccles have been approved – despite last minute objections from nearby Tesco.
Earlier this week Waveney District Council’s (WDC) planning committee voted unanimously in favour of Lidl UK’s plans to redevelop the former site of Carcom Bodyworks and Beccles Car Centre in Common Lane North.
The store is expected to be open to the public in around one year and will create 44 full-time jobs for local people. It will feature 1,325 square metres of retail floor space and include 115 free customer parking spaces.
However, just hours before the planning committee met on Tuesday evening, the council received an objection on behalf of Tesco from Jessica Ferguson of Martin Robeson Planning Practice. In an email Ms Ferguson questioned the retail impact assessment put forward by Lidl.
She said the assessment lacked detail and claimed a “robust assessment” was absent from Lidl’s application.
Tamsin Cottle, of property management firm JLL which is handling Lidl’s bid, explained the potential impact on the town at the meeting and defended the application. She said: “Despite having five months to object – Tesco chose today.”
As the store falls under 2,500 square feet a retail impact assessment was not required, nevertheless the discount supermarket did submit a report based on previous experience in towns of similar size.
The impact assessment stated “the abstraction of trade falls primarily on other supermarkets with lesser impact on town centre shops”.
Ms Cottle explained this was due to the fact Lidl is not a “one stop shop” and does not house facilities such as a butchers or pharmacy.
She suggested the supermarket’s arrival in the town and the extra car park spaces it will bring will increase the number of “linked trips” into the town centre and would help “retain people in town”.
Around 1,000 people travel from Beccles to Lowestoft to visit the nearest Lidl and it is hoped the new store will encourage these residents to stay in the town.
The supermarket will operate from 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.