More store wars in Norwich as East of England Co-op looks to block Lidl relocation bid

Proposed site for the new Lidl store on Aylsham Road, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Proposed site for the new Lidl store on Aylsham Road, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Store wars have broken out in Norwich again, with the East of England Co-op calling for city councillors to refuse Lidl permission for a new shop.

The current Lidl store on Aylsham Road, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The current Lidl store on Aylsham Road, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Discount supermarket chain Lidl wants to move its store in Copenhagen Way to the former Goff Petroleum site in Aylsham Road – less than 400m away from the current store.

But, as Aldi did when Lidl wanted to open a store near Ketts Hill, the East of England Co-op, which has a store in Aylsham Road a fifth of a mile away from the proposed site, has objected.

Consultants Planning Direct, on behalf of the Co-op, submitted an objection with a string of reasons why Lidl's bid should be rejected.

They argue that the 29,654 square foot store would go against the city council's own local plan – a blueprint for development.


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They also say Lidl should have provided evidence to show it looked for alternative sites – known as a sequential test – and carried out an assessment of how the store would affect other shops.

The removal of trees and the store design are cited as further reasons for rejection. 'There is no attempt to seek characteristics from the local area or match local distinctiveness, despite the close proximity of the Mile Cross Conservation Area.', their objection states.

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Morrisons had been looking to open a store on the site after applicant and site owner Michael Goff secured permission for them in February 2014.

But Morrisons has never started work.

Planning consultants acting on Lidl's behalf say that means the principle of the site becoming a foodstore has already been accepted.

A report drawn up by Phil Jones Associates, said: 'The proposed development represents a viable and deliverable prospect which would be in keeping with the local landscape.'

The application is due to come before city councillors for a decision later this year.

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