A supermarket war is brewing in Whitchurch after representatives for Lidl threatened legal action if Shropshire Council approved plans for Aldi.
The plans for a new facility on the A41, on the outskirts of Whitchurch, has been met with objection from businesses, residents and Whitchurch Town Council, who are in support of Aldi coming to the area, but not at that site.
Aldi remain confident of securing the site, but in a submission to the consultation process at Shropshire Council, Plan A, representing Lidl, state legal proceedings will happen if planning permission is given.
It also downplayed claims by an agent on behalf of Aldi – JJL – that its store, in Bridgewater Street, is overtrading in its October 26 submission.
The letter said: “Any approval of planning permission will be on the basis of inadequate evidence and an incorrect application of development plan policy and NPPF guidance.
“Lidl cannot permit the council to put the future of the Whitchurch store at significant risk.
“Accordingly, should the council seek to grant planning consent, Lidl will commence legal proceedings to challenge the decision.
“In order to avoid legal proceedings, the council must come to a decision having regard to all available evidence on the performance of the Lidl store and following a transparent and robust assessment of retail impact.
“Accordingly, we strongly recommend that the council appoints an independent retail expert to provide a detailed critique of the retail case presented by Aldi to to ensure that this key matter is thoroughly considered in the correct manner.”
Aldi have promised to provide financial support for the town, as well as providing a bus service around Whitchurch if they are to build the premises.
However, landscape experts and the Canals and Rivers Trust have objected while there is a mixed response from residents.