New twist in seven-year saga over planned Lidl supermarket

Travellers have moved onto the car park of a former Lidl store in Norwich .Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Lidl has withdrawn plans to build a new store on Bishop Bridge Road - Credit: Archant

Plans to build a new Lidl supermarket alongside Norwich's inner ring road have faltered yet again, giving a new twist to a seven-year saga

In 2014, the German discount supermarket lodged a bid to build a new branch on a plot of land off Bishop Bridge Road in Norwich, near the Kett's Hill roundabout.

However, the proposals were turned down by the city council amid concerns that land available for housing development would be lost and the impact it could have on traffic using the inner link.

The proposed site of a new Lidl store at Bishop Bridge Road, where the Value Car Centre is situated.

The proposed site of a new Lidl store at Bishop Bridge Road, where the Value Car Centre is situated. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

The refusal was then appealed, but the following year a planning inspector ruled in the council's favour, sending the supermarket back to the drawing board.

In 2017, Lidl then returned with a second application, which was refused by council officers for the very same reasons.

Now, almost four years after the latest decision and the application has been withdrawn - after planners at City Hall indicated it was poised for a third refusal.

In a letter addressed to Avison Young, which was acting as planning consultants for the supermarket, Norwich City Council's senior planner Tracey Armitage advised that the plans were set for refusal yet again.

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She wrote: "I have drafted an officer report which recommends that the application should be refused for the reasons as set out previously. 

"This decision is able to be made under delegated powers."

However, before this decision could be formally made and publicised, the supermarket opted to withdraw its application.

A spokesman for Lidl said: "After the application was refused, we decided to withdraw plans for this site.

"We will now consider our future options for the area and will update the community when we are in a position to do so."

The spokesman added that had the application been approved and the store built, it would have created 40 new jobs for the city.

The proposed store would have been built on the site of Value Car Centre, but has long since been earmarked for a development of up to 50 homes.

It remains to be seen whether the retailer will return with revised plans.