Lidl overcomes objections to get the go ahead for new 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

A discount supermarket has once again received unanimous planning approval after overcoming objections from a nearby competitor.

In April, Waveney District Council’s planning committee voted in favour of Lidl UK’s plans to redevelop the site of Carcom Bodywork and Beccles Car Centre in Common Lane North, Beccles.

However just hours before the committee met it received an objection on behalf of Tesco suggesting the retail impact work conducted by the discount supermarket was “too superficial” to rule out harm to the town centre.

An impact assessment was subsequently carried out by a retail expert Carter Jonas on behalf of the Local Planning Authority – the findings of which were heard at last night’s committee meeting.

The committee heard that while there is evidence the new store will have a negative impact on Tesco’s trade it would not affect businesses in the town to “any measurable extent”.

The assessment stated the town was “trading remarkably well” and revealed 53pc of Tesco customers made linked trips to other businesses in the town centre when shopping.

In addition 41pc of those who shop at Morrisons, situated further along the same road, also made trips into the town after visiting the supermarket.

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Therefore the report concluded it is safe to assume a supermarket built in between these sites would likewise attract visitors into the town.

Around 1,000 people travel from Beccles to Lowestoft to visit the nearest Lidl and it is now hoped the new store will encourage these residents to stay and spend in the town.

At the previous meeting concerns were also raised about the level of noise nearby residents would have to endure from deliveries.

And so an acoustic fence will be installed around the perimeter of the development to reduce noise congestion and deliveries will stop at 10pm.

Councillors took just minutes to approve the amended plans which are predicted to broaden the retail landscape in Beccles and positively impact the local economy.

The store is expected to be open to the public in around one year and will create 44 full-time jobs for local people.

It will feature 1,325 square metres of retail floor space and include 115 free customer parking spaces.