Town welcomes arrival of new Lidl store

Plan for the new Lidl store in Common Lane North, Beccles. Picture: Lidl UK.

Plan for the new Lidl store in Common Lane North, Beccles. Picture: Lidl UK. - Credit: Archant

The future arrival of a discount supermarket in a market town has been welcomed by business owners and residents alike.

Last week Lidl UK received unanimous planning approval from Waveney District Council’s planning committee to set up shop in Common Lane North, Beccles.

The plans were initially objected by nearby Tesco who queried the retail impact on businesses already in the town.

However, it was decided that while the discount store may have a negative impact on Tesco’s trade it would not affect businesses in the town to “any measurable extent”.

Jon Sexton has owned and run Sweet Memories sweetshop in New Market for the last six years and believes the new store is good news for businesses in the town centre.

He said: “I think in this day and age a large business coming into town can only benefit Beccles.

“A large commercial business that can advertise and bring people into the town can only be a good thing.

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“I imagine Tesco do feel a threat, not just locally but nationally. But the UK high street nationally is in dire straits – Lidl will bring people to Beccles.”

As well as attracting new people to the town it is hoped the store will help retain trade from around 1,000 people who travel from Beccles to Lowestoft to visit the nearest Lidl.

Beccles resident Rachel Daniels said: “The shops in town all have their niches and will be no more affected by Lidl arriving than they already are by Tesco.

“I can’t wait for Lidl to open, it saves me travelling all the way to Lowestoft.”

Some residents have voiced concerns about the potential traffic issues the store will create.

Paula Berry said: “The problem is going to be getting into town with four major stores on one road - it’s a nightmare now, god knows how bad it will be.

The store will create around 40 new jobs for local people and will include 115 free customer parking spaces when it opens next year.

Colin Rimmer, Lidl UK’s regional head of property,added: “I would like to thank the local community for their continued support, and very much look forward to opening our doors.”