WEST Berkshire councillors waited until the 11th hour to delay making a decision on whether to approve plans for a new Lidl store in Calcot.
The proposed store would be situated on the A4 Bath Road – which is already home to a large Sainsbury’s and the new IKEA store – and have 100 parking spaces for customers.
The application was due to be debated and decided at a meeting of West Berkshire Council’s Eastern Area Planning Committee last Wednesday.
However, at the start of the meeting, committee chairman Graham Pask (Con, Bucklebury) announced it had been taken off the agenda and that the decision would be deferred until September 14 to allow councillors more time to consider the application.
It is unclear whether the untimely traffic issues at the new IKEA store last week played any role in that decision.
An email sent by Jason Gratton, Lidl’s head of property for the South and South East, said: “Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued interest and support in the Lidl Foodstore application at Bath Road, Calcot.
“The level of interest to date has demonstrated the overwhelming public support for increased competition within the Calcot catchment area, support that will hopefully deliver lower shopping bills for many local residents on a regular basis.
“Having recently written a letter advising residents of the forthcoming planning committee meeting, I am afraid that WBC planning department contacted us at 4.30pm today to advise the application has been deferred to allow members to consider further information.”
The email went on: “This has come at too short notice for us to provide sufficient notice to local residents via Royal Mail.
“To help inform local residents that the application has been deferred, please feel free to circulate this email to friends and family who have an interest in the proposed Lidl in Calcot.
“Although WBC planning department have delayed the determination of the application, we would encourage further support comments to be sent directly to the local planning authority.
“Once again, I offer my sincere apologies for the late notification of the deferred planning committee.
“This decision was taken directly by the local planning authority, and was outside of Lidl’s control.”
Comments can be submitted using the following link: http://publicaccess.westberks.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do? activeTab=makeComment &keyVal=NWMGNZRD01V00