Priory Centre urges councillors to reject Lidl’s out-of-town plans ‘to save Worksop centre’
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Discount supermarket chain Lidl’s application to build a supermarket on land east of Carlton Road is expected to be decided by Bassetlaw Council’s planning committee before the end of the year.
The scheme, expected to create up to 70 full and part-time jobs, also seeks permission for demolition of two homes and to build a restaurant/cafe with drive-thru facility, and outline permission for “up to 71 residential units”.
A previous application for the store was refused by councillors in December 2020 after concerns were raised by campaign group We Love Worksop about its adverse impact on the town centre.
In September, the campaign group, backed by Priory Shopping Centre manager Steve Dacombe, urged residents to fight against the plans, and it is now asking councillors to oppose the application.
Mr Dacombe said: “If councillors wish to ignore the council’s own independent assessment that spells out the irreversible damage this will cause to Worksop’s town centre, then there is no going back – it will be remembered for generations to come.
“The town centre has been on life support due to the lockdowns. We have a vision to restore this into a thriving place where independent businesses can thrive alongside established shops.
“Instead of locating its store in what could be a blossoming town centre, serviced with established and sustainable transport links, Lidl seems intent on choosing the option which would create more traffic, litter and damage to a conservation area – that spells pollution and misery.
“I urge councillors to save our town centre. The fundamentals of Lidl’s scheme have not changed and it’s a rotten deal for Worksop.”
In July this year, consultant Nexus produced a report, commissioned by the council, which concluded Lidl’s current proposals would have a “significantly adverse impact on planned investment” in Worksop’s town centre.
The report also stated an alternative suitable food store location had been identified within the Priory Shopping Centre which has an extant permission.
However, Lidl says the Priory Centre unit is unfit for its use, citing the size and configuration, lack of parking provision, and issues with access to the site.
A planning statement, submitted by ID Planning on behalf of Lidl, said the Carlton Road site has “easy and convenient access to the town centre with good pedestrian routes”.
It also said: “It is considered the site is ‘well connected’ to the town centre and there are no other sequentially preferable sites to accommodate the proposed development.”
In a previous statement, a spokesman for Lidl GB said it was “disappointing” that the Priority Shopping Centre is objecting to its proposals, despite demonstrating the Priory Centre site is “simply not suitable for a Lidl foodstore”.
He said: “We strongly believe a new Lidl store and the accompanying development, which would collectively create up to 70 jobs and 71 homes for Worksop, would greatly benefit the local area.”