Monday, February 22, 2021

News: Plans in for new Lidl in Rotherham


A planning application has been submitted to build a new Lidl supermarket on the site of a former fire station and library in Rotherham.

Rothbiz revealed last year that the German global discount chain had begun discussions with Rotherham Council over the site on High Street in Maltby and public consultation began in December.

The application comes after plans for a new Lidl at Swallownest were recently turned down.

The Local Plan allocates the site for Community Facilities based on its historic use as a Fire Station and Library, however applicants state that these former community uses have now been relocated and replaced elsewhere in the area and the site is no longer required for ongoing community facilities use.

The proposal is for a new store with a 13,500 sq ft sales area on the central and northern part of the site, providing an instore bakery, customer toilets and customer recycling facility. 80% of this net sales area would be used for convenience goods sales, with the remaining 20% being used for comparison goods sales.

A "contemporary design including an open glazed shop front" is proposed along with 87 parking spaces and a single access from High Street.

If approved, the plans would create 40 new full time and part time jobs.

The site is within a defined town centre but applicants say that: "given its status as a Town Centre, the range of retail facilities in Maltby is currently quite limited." Adding: "There are no larger scale foodstores within the centre and these existing facilities, including Tesco, primarily meet top-up shopping needs."

The existing Aldi store nearby is in an out-of-centre location and applicants argue that it has "no relationship with Maltby Town Centre."

Planning consultants, Lichfields drew up the plans and say: "Maltby Town Centre contains a range of retail and service uses which meet the day to day needs of local residents and has a unit vacancy rate which is below the national average, reflecting its resilience in the face of the recent pandemic and wider economic conditions.

"Given its status as a town centre, the range of retail facilities within Maltby is quite limited. Whilst there is a Tesco supermarket, this is relatively small and primarily performs a top-up shopping role. Although there are recently constructed Aldi and Home Bargains stores at Muglet Lane, these are situated in an out-of-centre location and there are no other medium or large-sized foodstores in the town centre."

A study into the impact of the proposal is included, highlighting that the new store "would enhance the accessibility and availability of food retailing to local residents, reducing the need to travel to the above facilities outside of the local area."

Consultants add that there wouldn't be competition between Lidl and the existing provision in Maltby town centre arguing that "the new store would function, in practice, as part of Maltby Town Centre, generating linked trips and spin-off trade for existing businesses there."

The competition would be with the nearby Aldi and a new Lidl would have the biggest negative impact on the stores at Muglet Lane, diverting an estimated £2.4m (23%) of turnover away from the existing location. Lidl says that this Aldi store is situated in an out-of-centre location, and is therefore unprotected in planning policy terms and its viability is unlikely to be affected by the proposed new Lidl.

Images: Lidl / Lichfields


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