Residents support Lidl’s bid for Beccles store but concerns are raised over traffic and access
PUBLISHED: 17:37 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:37 01 November 2017
Plans to build a new Lidl supermarket in Beccles have been met with support, although concerns have been raised about access to the site.
Last week the discount supermarket chain announced plans to build a new store in Common Lane North, creating up to 40 jobs.
And members of the public were invited to have their say on the plans at a consultation event held today at the Waveney House Hotel in Beccles.
The supermarket would be built on the Brands of Beccles and former Beccles Car Centre site off George Westwood Way, and would include 115 customer parking spaces.
One resident who lives 100 yards away from the proposed site in Pound Road said: “My first thought was whether we needed another food store in Beccles, but it is going to create employment for local people so that’s good.
“What I’m worried about is more traffic coming down Pound Road. The road is so narrow and there’s not room for two cars to get through at once so you constantly have to wait to let cars through.
“There’s obviously going to be more traffic down that road and it’s already a bit of a rat run.
“And to get out of George Westwood Way at the other end they need to put in a good set of traffic lights or a roundabout.”
Another resident, who said she was happy for Lidl to move into the town, also raised concerns about the additional traffic it would bring to Pound Road and Ravensmere East and the dangers it could pose to the families and elderly living in the area.
Another couple suggested Bungay or Halesworth would be a better location, while one man simply asked how long they would have to wait for it to open.
The supermarket would operate from 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. On a normal day, there would be two to three delivery lorries accessing the site.
Mike Devine, senior acquisitions consultant for Lidl, said they had been looking to open a store in Beccles since the company came to the UK in 1994.
He said: “1,000 people travel from Beccles to Lowestoft just to do their weekly shop at Lidl so that shows there is a need for it.
“We are listening to people’s concerns and we know that people are saying Pound Road is already a rat run and although that is an issue that predates us we will be looking at what we can do to make things better.”
Mr Devine said they planned to submit an application in the next month, and hoped the supermarket could be ready to open in 18 months.
To share your feedback on the plans, visit www.beccles.lidl.co.uk
What do you think? Does Beccles need another supermarket? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Beccles and Bungay Journal, 20 Blyburgate, Beccles, NR34 9TB.