New borough councillors give views on proposed Lidl in Tadley
THE Conservative councillors for the newly created Tadley North, Kingsclere and Baughurst ward have given their views on the plans for the proposed Lidl in Tadley.
The appeal for the discount store is currently with the Planning Inspectorate after West Berkshire Council rejected an application for the supermarket last summer.
Speaking after their elections, councillors Ken Rhatigan and Stuart Frost – voted in with 1759 and 1591 votes respectively – both backed the plans for the discount store.
Mr Rhatigan said: “As somebody who’s supported it from the beginning and wrote a letter to West Berkshire when it was initially coming to committee, my hope is that because it’s so close to our borough boundary, some of the comments from councillors who live quite far away from that decision can be overturned.
“Tadley needs more than it’s got at the moment – it needs thriving shops but it also has to have choice.”
Mr Frost added: “I support the Lidl.
“If you think about the residents of Tadley, when they’re not able to travel, their choice is that big Sainsbury’s.
“Unfortunately that’s expensive, more expensive I believe than the Sainsbury’s in Basingstoke.
“I’m really up for the appeal and I sincerely hope it goes through, just to give the residents of Tadley and Baughurst choice.”
The third Conservative councillor elected for the ward, Geoff Poland, admitted he was “ambivalent” about the project.
Mr Poland, who was elected with 1404 votes, ahead of Liberal Democrat candidate Warwick Lovegrove in fourth with 1106 votes, said: “There’s clearly a demand for the Lidl in the town, the dominance of the Sainsbury’s et cetera.
“I’m always conscious that if you have big supermarkets, how does that affect the smaller shops?
“I can see the pluses but I think there has to be a balance making sure it doesn’t affect all the other issues in the town.”