Fri, 29 Nov 2019
CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new Lidl store in Tadley have been recommended for refusal.
The proposals will be debated and voted on at next Wednesday’s West Berkshire Council eastern area planning committee meeting.
The budget supermarket wants to build the 2,177 sq m store on land south of Ravenswing Farm, adjoining Aldermaston Road and Silchester Road.
Planning officers from West Berkshire Council outlined in a report that the application should be refused on the basis that it would damage the countryside and affect the character of the landscape.
Although the report recognised the economic and social benefits of the store – that it would provide shoppers with another choice, additional employment and a new meeting place in Tadley – the application failed since “it will entail the incursion of a greenfield site upon which no exceptional need has been justified”.
The application will now go in front of the committee on Wednesday, December 4.
The proposal for the new store has had a mixed response since being unveiled in February this year.
Lidl has said the supermarket will provide 35 part-time and five full-time jobs, and be open seven days a week from 8am until 10pm.
Supporters of the plans say that Lidl will challenge Sainsbury’s monopoly and offer greater choice and cheaper prices.
It will also cut down on people needing to drive to Basingstoke, Reading or Newbury.
Objectors, however, say that there is already plenty of choice in the area, including Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Budgens and Tesco supermarkets.
At a Tadley Town Council meeting on Monday, councillors voiced their concern about the effect of the store on traffic in the area – in particular the access into the site from the A340.
Councillor Sue Mullen said: “I’m not averse to Lidl coming to the area, but I’m not happy with where they’re proposing.
“Especially the entrance on the main road will be chaos.
“You get a knock-on effect from all of the traffic lights.”
Councillor Avril Burdett said: “I sat at the bus stop for 20 minutes watching the traffic and I can’t see how it’s going to work, coming out on to the A340.
“It’s just crazy, the number of times the junction gets jammed.”
You can view the planning application by entering the reference number 19/01063/COMIND into the West Berkshire Council’s planning website.