Mon, 14 Oct 2019
PLANS to build a Lidl store in Tadley has been met with a mixed response.
The budget supermarket wants to build the 2,177 sq m store on land south of Ravenswing Farm, adjoining Aldermaston Road and Silchester Road.
Lidl has said the supermarket, within a stone’s throw of Tadley Sainsbury’s, will provide 35 part-time and five full-time jobs.
The store, if approved, will be open seven days a week, from 8am until 10pm.
The proposals have attracted 18 letters of objection and 37 in support to West Berkshire Council’s planning department.
Supporters say that Lidl will challenge Sainsbury’s monopoly and offer greater choice and cheaper prices.
They add that it will create jobs and cut down on people having to drive to Basingstoke, Reading or Newbury.
Objectors say that the greenfield site, which hosts the annual Treacle Fair, should not be developed and that there is already plenty of choice in the area, including Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Budgens and Tesco supermarkets.
Furthermore, objectors say that the store will lead to increased traffic congestion and emissions.
The traffic impact has raised concerns from council highways officers, with Hampshire County Council lodging a holding objection and asking for more information.
The proposed store, which lies within the boundary of West Berkshire, will have 117 car parking spaces, fewer than required by Basingstoke and Deane and West Berkshire policy.
Traffic modelling has estimated 145 two-way vehicle trips on weekdays and 273 at weekends.
West Berkshire highways officers have raised concerns about the lower level of parking being proposed.
They said: “This,, along with the potential for deliveries to take place at busier times, could result in traffic spilling from the development on to the A340.
“This adds to my concern that a turn right lane isn’t proposed on to the A340 for the vehicular access.
“I consider this lower [parking] provision should be justified, as I am aware that parking for Lidl and Aldi stores can be more demanding.
“It is well known that the market share for both Lidl and Aldi has much increased in recent years.”
Economic assessments state that the proposed store “will not result in any significant adverse impact on the vitality or viability of any defined retail centre”.
It adds: “There is therefore no reason to think that Sainsbury’s would not continue to trade after the opening of the Lidl store, and so any impact upon this store would not have a significantly adverse impact.”
West Berkshire Council’s economic development officer Gabrielle Mancini said: “The employment opportunities for a store of this size are clear and would provide local residents with the chance to work within their community should they wish to.
“This could also have a positive impact on the local road network as it may allow employees to travel to work on foot, bike or using public transport.
“The provision of such a retail offering in a rural part of the district would be welcome as it would serve to address some of the concerns with respect to access to services.
“The proposed retailer is also known for the affordability of its products, which would be particularly welcome to residents in some of West Berkshire’s more deprived communities.”
View and comment on the scheme by entering the reference number 19/01063/COMIND into the West Berkshire Council’s planning website.