New Lidl store in Ashby could be given the green light by councillors next week

By Graham Hill

26th May 2024 | Local News

An artist's impression of the planned new Lidl supermarket in Ashby. Image: Lidl
An artist's impression of the planned new Lidl supermarket in Ashby. Image: Lidl

Lidl's planned new supermarket in Ashby could be given the go-ahead next week.

The scheme will be debated by North West Leicestershire District Council's planning committee on June 4, with officers recommending the application is permitted, subject to certain conditions being met.

The nationwide budget store wants to demolish the current Ashfield House site in Resolution Road.

This would make way for the proposed supermarket which would be next to Tesco and close to the Aldi store in Dents Road.

Opponents of the scheme have pointed out that there are other grocery services nearby in the area off Nottingham Road.

Ashby de la Zouch Town Council has made a number of objections to the plan.

Ashfield House would be demolished to make way for the new supermaket. Photo: Ashby Nub News

As well as that, the reason the application has been called in by ward member, Cllr Murrae Blair-Park, is that he says the present road infrastructure is incapable of handling the traffic coming and going into Ashby, with daily tailbacks for the A511, A/M42 and Market Street - and that within 1,000 metres of the proposed site there is a Tesco, Aldi, M&S Foodhall and B&M which all sell a full range of groceries.

Cllr Blair-Park added that the location is inappropriate for another large grocery retailer and that current retailers are struggling to recruit staff.

Tesco raised concerns in March when it told the District Council that the Lidl scheme was, in its opinion, 'fundamentally unsuitable'.

But fears that the new store would add to the traffic congestion in the vicinity appear to have been allayed by Leicestershire County Council Highways' latest communication with North West Leicestershire District Council.

Responding to amendments made by Lidl, Highway says the impact of the development on traffic 'would not be severe' and 'not unacceptable'.

Photo: Dreamstime.com

In a document to the District Council, it says: "The Local Highway Authority advice is that, in its view, the impacts of the development on highway safety would not be unacceptable, and when considered cumulatively with other developments, the impacts on the road network would not be severe.

"The Local Highway Authority (LHA) has been re-consulted on the erection of new Lidl foodstore with car parking, landscaping and other associated works at Ashfield House.

"In the LHA's previous response dated 19th April 2024, it was determined that junction capacity assessment was required at the Nottingham Road/ Resolution Road junction, due to the anticipated increase in vehicle trips using this junction during the Saturday Peak period. In addition to this, the LHA also required amendments to the made to the site access."

Leicestershire Highways says that both requests have been met.

How Lidl plans to redvelop the site. Image: Lidl

The council meeting agenda says: "The proposed Lidl would be served via the existing access point from the roundabout on Resolution Road with the proposed car park having a total of 100 parking spaces which would include six accessible parking bays, nine parent and child parking bays and two rapid EV charging spaces. In addition five Sheffield cycle stands would be provided which would accommodate 10 bicycles."

It also says that Ashby de la Zouch Town Council has objected to the scheme for the following reasons:

• Highways Issues - the vehicular movements associated with the development would increase and exacerbate the congestion around Resolution Road and Nottingham Road

• Amenity of Neighbours – there is concern noise and disturbance would arise to local residents as a result of the activity at a busy supermarket when compared with the existing offices

• Inappropriate Change of Use – the proposal is contrary to the Local Plan Policy which states that the site is reserved for employment development

The entrance Ashfield House in Resolution Road. Photo: Instantstreetview.com

• Failure to Comply with Local Plan Policy – the sequential test submitted is flawed and has only considered two alternative sites with the site at Money Hill being wrongly dismissed. There is no need to demolish the existing award winning offices, which is against sustainability, and the use of an alternative site would not bring negative impacts associated with traffic congestion and detriment to neighbour amenity

• Neighbourhood Plan Policy, Town Centre Uses – the development does not meet this criterion and would have a significant impact on the footfall into the town centre, estimated by the applicant to be at least 1 million per annum.

But, if planning permission were to be granted, the Town Council has requested the following financial contributions towards improved local infrastructure:

• Payment towards a safe cycle route into the town centre for use by customers and staff as per the submitted transport report

• Highway improvements to reduce congestion e.g. off-set roundabout on Nottingham Road, etc

• A financial contribution towards Town Centre improvements to encourage footfall in the town centre (Aldi contributed £50,000 and Tesco contributed a similar amount)

     

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