Plan for Cromer store to expand
18:22 11 January 2016
Archant Norfolk 2013
A discount supermarket chain is planning to step up the fierce competition with rivals with a major expansion of its Cromer store.
Lidl is aiming to boost the size of the Holt Road shop by almost a third as a result of the proposed extension.
The German-owned retailer has also raised the prospect of creating new jobs at the supermarket if the application gets the go-ahead.
However, Cromer town councillors are opposing the expansion plan which they fear could damage trade in the town centre.
Improvements would include a new double-height glazed entrance lobby, larger shopping floor and extended bakery.
A relocation of cycle parking and new stand alone trolley bay are also planned. The size of the supermarket’s car park would remain unchanged with 66 spaces.
The changes would result in a 21 per cent increase in sales area from 1,063 to 1,286 square metres and a boost in overall the size of the store of more than 30 per cent.
Cromer Mayor Tim Adams said: “We believe that any increase in the size of the Lidl store would impact of the vitality and viability of shops in the town centre.”
He added that councillors were concerned with the scale of the extension and a “lack of detail” in the proposal.
A statement from the company said: “The extension will improve upon the existing shopping experience of the customers.
“Due to the structure of the Lidl business model, the proposed extension will also allow the business to operate more efficiently, enabling cost savings to be passed on to the customers. There may also be additional employment opportunities by the extension proposal.”
The Cromer store opened on the edge of town site in June 2013 creating 40 new full and part-time jobs.
Described as a “new generation” Lidl food store, it features an in-house bakery and adjoining Subway restaurant.
Its arrival heralded fierce competition, with the store competing for customers with the resort’s Morrisons, Budgens, Co-operative and Iceland supermarkets.
The application is due to be considered at a forthcoming meeting of North Norfolk District Council development control committee.
The expansion was supported by Cromer Chamber of Trade member Richard Leeds.
He said: “If this proposal brings more people into the town and Cromer area then I cannot disagree with it. There are a good mix of businesses here and no empty shops, so we are doing very well in this part of the world.”