Shoppers look set to be spoilt for choice after the council greenlit plans to build a new Lidl supermarket in Basingstoke.
Two units in Hatch Warren Retail Park will be “amalgamated” to house the new store, which will sit less than 250 metres from Sainsbury’s, in Wallop Drive.
The project will create 40 new jobs in the town and “enhance the local area’s retail offering”, according to Lidl bosses.
It comes after months of anticipation, with the budget retailer first expressing interest in the site in September last year.
A proposal was then submitted to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in December, which has now been given the thumbs up by planning chiefs.
The project will see units 1 and 2 of the retail park combined to become a single, larger space in which the Lidl store will set up shop.
Unit 1 is currently vacant after former tenant Argos relocated to the nearby Sainsbury’s store, while unit 2 houses bed specialist Dreams, which would in turn is set relocate to an unused plot at unit 3.
Part of this relocation will involve a new mezzanine floor being built in unit 3, so that the new Dreams store can retain a similar amount of floor space. A separate planning application for this was granted just last month.
The switch-up means that the retail park would comprise the new, larger Lidl store, Dreams’ new and refurbished location, plus Poundstretcher and Pets at Home – with no empty units in the area.
It is anticipated that the new Lidl store will create up to 40 new jobs once the project is complete.
Documents submitted with the plans state: “The proposed food store will employ 30 to 40 employees, who occupy a combination of both part- and full-time positions with numbers of staff onsite ranging from three to ten at any one time, depending on the day/time of the week.”
However the new store will result in a “loss of 16 parking spaces to provide access into the store and provide a trolley storage bay”.
The proposed development will offer 145 parking spaces, comprising 131 standard, six disabled and 8 parent and child, adjacent to the Lidl store. A further 78 places will be available outside neighbouring units on the retail park.
It is also stressed that rather than building an entirely new store, the existing building will be retained but with an external facade installed and internal alterations made in line with Lidl’s own branding and layout.
The design and access statement reads: “In order to preserve and enhance the overall aesthetic of the area and the building itself the decision has been made not to install a standard Lidl store but instead it is proposed to replace existing shopfront with a new curtain wall feature. Existing internal layout/merchandise to be stripped and replaced with Lidl’s own branding/fit out and associated merchandise.”
The store opening hours are envisaged to be as per standard Lidl operational hours – 8am until 10pm from Monday to Saturday, including bank holidays, and 10am until 5pm on Sundays. It is also noted that Lidl stores typically have two to three HGV deliveries per day.
Part of the terms of the planning permission, granted by the council, is that “the premises shall not open before 8am or remain open after 10pm on Mondays to Saturday or any recognised public holiday and 10am to 5pm on Sundays”.
Construction work, including deliveries, will only be able to be carried out between 7.30am and 6pm on weekdays, and 8am and 1pm on weekends.
Then once the store is operational, “no servicing of the units by heavy good vehicles shall be undertaken outside the hours of 6:30am to 11pm Mondays to Saturdays and 8am to 6pm Sundays and on public bank holidays”.
Documents submitted in the original proposal state that “the proposed development will, if consented, be constructed at the earliest opportunity”.
Lidl has been contacted for further details.
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