It’s the best way of ensuring your planning application has more than just a fighting chance of being approved when its submitted.
You hold a ‘public consultation’ first and charm the locals.
That’s exactly what Lidl GB has chosen to do. To launch a public consultation on draft plans to deliver a new ‘high quality’ food store on land beside Bath RFC’s Lambridge training ground on the London Road.
The company says this multi-million pound investment would deliver increased shopping choice for local residents on the eastern side of Bath, and create around 40 new jobs for the local community.
The following is today’s press release from the company – complete with two images of how things might look if, and when, a formal planning application to B&NES is made and approved.
Before l hand over to the release – let me say this will be the first Lambridge ward issue our two newly-elected Green councillors will face.
They recently (before the local election) were involved in a local protest against such a ‘green field’ development which those who oppose the scheme say would be both environmentally and ecologically damaging. It could be argued that such involvement helped them get elected too.
But, on with the press release from Lidl.
“The plans include a modern supermarket of a bespoke design, befitting of the location, with a sales area of 1,228 m2, offering a wide range of Lidl’s high-quality products at the best value. The store would also feature facilities such as Lidl’s much loved in-store bakery, along with a customer toilet with baby changing facilities and ample parking for bicycles, cargo bikes and cars.
If plans are approved by Bath & North East Somerset Council, pedestrian access across the London Road / Gloucester Road junction will be significantly enhanced including two new signalised pedestrian crossings to benefit local residents, as well as users of Lidl and Alice Park.
The development has been sensitively designed to be in keeping with the character of the local surroundings and Lidl is proposing to incorporate local Bath stone and natural timber cladding into the building facades. The store design has been developed following initial engagement with Bath & North East Somerset Council and key heritage stakeholders, including Bath Preservation Trust, Historic England and the National Trust, and significantly benefits from the input of the Design West Review Panel of local architects.
Lidl’s proposed development will also look to preserve and enhance existing habitats around the site, and improve biodiversity with a net gain of more than 30%. Numerous enhancements are also proposed, such as:
- Extensive new tree and hedge planting, strengthening and enriching the tree line surrounding the site
- Natural above ground drainage systems (SUDS) to improve landscaping and habitat, while creating a more attractive overall design for the site
- A green roof incorporating solar panels, which will provide renewable energy for the store while the roofs plantation will help to naturally insulate the building and aid biodiversity
- Energy-efficient air source heat pumps as an alternative to standard heating units
- Sensitively designed LED lighting throughout the store
- Rapid electric vehicle charging spaces for customers
A community consultation event is being held on Wednesday 17th May (4pm-7pm) in the club buildings at Lambridge Training Ground on London Road (opposite Lambridge Street) and residents are invited to attend the event for the opportunity to speak directly with Lidl and their development team. Alternatively, the store proposals can be viewed at the consultation website londonroadbath.newstore.lidl.co.uk and anyone who would like to discuss the proposals can call 0800 089 0361 or email email@example.com. Information leaflets with a freepost feedback form are also being posted to over 14,500 properties locally in the coming days.
Lidl GB’s Regional Head of Property, Glen Stidever, commented: “A huge amount of work has gone into developing these proposals for a new discount supermarket in Bath to ensure it best meets the expectations of the local community. To get to this stage, we have already undertaken extensive pre-application consultation with Bath & North East Somerset Council and local stakeholders, such as Bath Preservation Trust and the Design West Review Panel. Feedback gathered from this important engagement has helped to inform every aspect of the design.
“We are really excited to be able to now share these with the local community. The new Lidl store would be of exceptional quality design, befitting of the World Heritage Site designation, and will provide residents especially on the eastern side of Bath, with easier access to our quality produce. We hope that as many people as possible participate in our public consultation and look forward to receiving feedback from local residents ahead of submitting planning.”
For nearly 30 years, Lidl’s unparalleled quality-value combination has been winning customers over from across the country. Independent analysis conducted by The Grocer of shopping lists across the nation, from fresh produce to branded items, found Lidl GB was £24.82 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket, while coming out cheapest for 21 items overall, and exclusively for two.”
My views on the subject?
The company is playing hard on the fact that people east of Bath won’t have to cross the city to get to a Lidl store and – in these rising-cost-of-living times – the fact that the company’s ‘quality-value combinations’ has proved such a shopper winner across the country will play in their favour in terms of local support.
On the other hand, we couldn’t manage to get a park and ride on this side of the city but we are quite happy to build on a green field site and attract more traffic in the name of choice?!
The images are a careful portrayal of what might be but pedestrian crossings at the T junction of Gloucester Road and London Road will add to traffic problems. Neither illustration show how the bus lane running past the store will be affected? How does traffic arrive and depart?
It’s also a ribbon development pushing out towards the A46 interchange. What would be approved next? What affect will all of this have on the shops in Larkhall? Does anyone – looking for bargain prices – care?
Finally, let’s have a consultation in the Oriel Hall in Larkhall and not just in Bath Rugby’s training ground accommodation next door. They sold the field to Lidl and obviously the proceeds will benefit them in their plans to redevelop their ground at the Rec .
Nothing wrong with that l suppose though maybe this land could have been used for a two-tier east of Bath park and ride?
Just saying. What do others think?
Morrisons is just down the road, I can’t see the need for another supermarket here. There are two problems; massive increased in traffic to an already jam packed London Road, tough for all the people who live along it. Two, competition for a flourishing local centre of Larkhall.
To my mind it would only be acceptable If there was no parking, you could go to the shop by foot, bike or bus, choose your shopping and have it delivered by an electric bike later.
Bad enough that the proposed new stadium on the Rec will build over much of the land left for the enjoyment of the citizens of Bath and ruin the open city views in Bathwick. Now they have secretly sold their training ground to ruin the local shops in Larkhall, and add to traffic problems on the London Road. Shame on Bath Rugby.
Looks like a factory to me!
Shame on the rugby club for not consulting before selling the land to Lidl. We’ve seen much the same with local businesses in Bath which are happy to sell their sites for student housing because it offers the best financial return. The planning system is heavily weighted in favour of developers but let’s hope B&NES has the determination to stand up to this one.
I love the idea of a 2 tier Park and Ride. Council should purchase the land from Lidl by using the proceeds from the sale of Bathampton Meadows!!!!!!!
The National Trust have been entrusted with fields, on the same lateral line, with the primary purpose of protecting the enviornment. Yet, here we are being consulted on whether a supermarket should be placed on an equally important green space, a very short distance away.
“No” is the answer.
Lidl’s primary target market for this store will be people living outside the City of Bath. In surrounding towns and villages like Bradford on Avon, Corsham, Radstock, Bathampton, Bathford, Batheaston etc….
With this in mind I suggest Lidl find suitable land in one of those areas not on London Rd., a unique Georgian entry to Bath.
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