Bexley councillors expected to refuse plans for Lidl in Erith
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 January 2020
Plans to build a new Lidl at Erith are set to be rejected for the second time in the space of a year tonight.
Bexley Council's planning committee has been advised to deny permission for Lidl to build its new store and 91 car parking spaces on the site of the Atlas Trade Park in Fraser Road.
It's the latest attempt by the German supermarket giant to develop the area, and comes after its plans were first thwarted in April 2019.
The first attempt saw the council reject the development on the grounds that demolishing the five separate business units would lead to a loss of important employment land.
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In addition, the council had concerns the development would encroach on a grove of trees at the rear of the site in an area deemed as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).
Lidl's revised plans, submitted late last year, include a smaller building than what was originally proposed, meaning it wouldn't lead to the destruction of the neighbouring trees.
However, council officers have advised that the loss of employment space within a designated Primary Employment Area - which is also allocated for the sale of non-food goods only - is unacceptable.
In their planning statement, Lidl say the new store would create up to 40 fulltime and part-time jobs as well as increasing supermarket shopping options for Erith residents.
They also state that the development of the store would enable the Atlas Retail Park to continue as a retail destination "consistent with its role over the last 19 years… The established use will not change".
Bexley Council's planning committee is due to meet on Thursday, January 23.