Tuesday, February 15, 2022

News: Lidl ready to reignite Rotherham store wars


German global discount chain, Lidl, is looking to resubmit plans for a new store in Rotherham.

In 2020 members of the planning board at Rotherham Council voted to refuse plans for a new Lidl foodstore, despite them being recommended for approval by officers.

The plans for a new 20,000 sq ft store on a site at Rotherham Road, Swallownest would involve the demolition of the Christ Church building and, at the rear of the site, improvements to changing rooms and playing pitches at the existing Miners Welfare Society.

With no appeal against the refusal, residents views are now being sought again as Lidl prepares to resubmit a planning application.

Agents explain that Lidl wants to build a new store to the latest specification with a 13,500 sq ft sales area including a bakery, longer-style tills with dual packing and customer toilets. They add that: "if approved, the proposals will see investment in improvements for Swallownest Miners’ Welfare Club, including new changing room facilities and the creation of an additional sports pitch for community use."

If approved, the development would create up to 40 new full and part time jobs.

A total of 129 representations were received for the earlier plans, 78 objecting to the proposal, and 51 supporting the scheme. Objectors included Aldi, which has since opened a store at nearby Fence, and the Co-op, which has a store already in Swallownest.

The planning board voted nine to two to refuse the 2020 application. The detrimental impact on the Swallownest district centre was the main reason for refusal with councillors questioning that enough people using the Lidl would also make a link trip to the centre. Lidl's site is deemed "edge of centre" in planning terms.

Lidl recently secured approval for a new foodstore in Handsworth, just over the border in Sheffield. Rotherham Council had objected to the plans and asked applicants to assess the impact on the Waverley development where a 16,500 sq ft building designed for a deep discount retailer such as Lidl or Aldi, is part of the early proposals for the Olive Lane development.

Lidl is also proposing a new Rotherham store on the High Street in Maltby.

Lidl consultation website

Images: Lidl


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