DISCOUNT supermarket rivals have clashed in Whitchurch.
Lidl has said plans by Aldi to build a new store in Wrexham Road would have “a catastrophic impact” on its existing town centre store and even lead to its closure.
Calling on Shropshire Council planners to reject the scheme, Chris Smith, on behalf of Lidl, said it would also be detrimental to the town centre businesses and that the Waymills site – previously championed by Aldi – would be preferential.
Voicing the company’s concerns, Mr Smith said: “Even though the applicant’s own retail impact assessment has under-estimated the impact of the proposed Aldi store on Whitchurch town centre as a whole, and upon the town centre Lidl store in the particular, it nevertheless demonstrates that the proposal is highly likely to have a significant adverse impact.”
He went on to say the new store would be in open countryside and therefore contrary to the development plan for the town.
Referring to the Waymills site, which was previously granted planning permission, Mr Smith added: “Against Aldi’s case, it is a matter of fact that the Waymills site has been found to be a suitable location to deliver a discount foodstore development by Aldi, the Local Planning Authority and the Planning Inspectorate.
“The site has also been found suitable to deliver retail uses in general.
“In the absence of any evidence to challenge this, the Waymills site remains a suitable discount foodstore development opportunity and it occupies a sequentially preferable location to the application site.”
The objection follows those from the Canal and Rivers Trust and concerns raised by Whitchurch Town Council stating that the location is not suitable.
A decision is expected from Shropshire Council at the beginning of next month.
See full story in the Whitchurch Herald