Plans for Lidl branch to open in business park move forward

The new Lidl supermarket in Sprowston Credit: Louisa Baldwin

The new Lidl supermarket in Sprowston Credit: Louisa Baldwin - Credit: Archant

Plans for a branch of a discount supermarket chain to open in a Norfolk business park have taken a step forwards.

Artists' impressions of the Broadland Gate plan at Postwick.For: Shaun Lowthorpe

Artists' impressions of the Broadland Gate plan at Postwick.For: Shaun Lowthorpe

German food retailer Lidl has submitted proposals to Broadland District Council to open a store at a business park in Postwick.

Detailed plans for the supermarket giant are yet to be discussed but the scheme has now been agreed in principle, after a committee voted to waive limits on the size of retail units onsite.

During a meeting of Broadland Council’s planning committee, held on Wednesday, September 9, councillors were told “large scale residential development has been approved to the north of Broadland Gate... meaning that a medium scale supermarket on this site would be beneficial to those future residents”.

READ MORE: Lidl and 240 houses bid prompts traffic ‘chaos’ concerns

Supermarket GVLidl Byline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

Supermarket GVLidl Byline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A report published ahead of the meeting stated: “This application is only applying for the principle of bringing the majority of the retail units together into one larger unit. However, if successful, Lidl would submit a detailed application to build a store on this site.”

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However, Thorpe St Andrew, Postwick, Witton and Great and Little Plumstead parish councils objected to the plans.

Thomas Foreman, town clerk at Thorpe St Andrew parish council, told councillors: “Locally we are seeing a greater resurgence of businesses choosing smaller units.

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“Nor do we accept that a business with sales of over 6.4bn in the UK could be considered a local business.”

He added: “Many of us do use Lidl as our weekly shop. There will likely be a significant number of people passing through.”

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While Nigel Brennan, Conservative councillor, said: “What concerns me is that if we were to allow this development, the next thing we’ll have is other retailers wanting to move in alongside it.”

And Liberal Democrat member Steve Riley added: “There is a shift going on economically.

“Those huge high street stores are moving into smaller units.”

But Richard Huteson, planning agent for Lidl, said the store would provide upto 40 new jobs, and “boost the economy”.

And Conservative member John Ward added: “There’s 700 to 800 houses set to be built just across the road. Do we really want all those people getting in their cars and heading to Sainsbury’s?”

Councillors voted to agree the plans, with six members voting in favour and two voting against.

READ MORE: Arrest after group fight at Lidl

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