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Mixed feelings over Shrewsbury Lidl bid

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Residents are divided over proposals to create a Lidl supermarket in Shrewsbury after it was revealed the store could lead to Waitrose pulling out of plans for a site nearby.

The scheme for the discount supermarket was submitted to Shropshire Council at the start of this year, for a site next to the Greehous Meadow Stadium in Oteley Road.

But the plans came under fire after bosses at Waitrose raised doubts over the future of their new store earmarked for land nearby. They said it "may not be viable" should Lidl go ahead.

Now residents are split on whether the budget German supermarket would be a positive addition to the town.

A total of 100 comments have been submitted, both objecting to and supporting the plans.

One resident, Jill Harvey, objected and said the area is already "well served with food stores".

She said: "The congestion around the area, not only on match days, is obvious to all who have to travel around here on a regular basis.

"I believe that the council should be encouraging more retail use of the town centre, not encouraging yet more out-of-town stores, thus hastening the demise of Shrewsbury's town centre. How many supermarkets does one town need?"

Another against the plans, Alfred Ellis, said: "The viability of the Oteley Road Centre nearby, which includes not only the garden centre but also other businesses, depends on Waitrose using its planning permission to build its supermarket.

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"Waitrose should be given the opportunity to do this before another supermarket is allowed in the vicinity.

"There is already a Lidl supermarket in another part of Shrewsbury, whereas the existing Waitrose store is just a 'little Waitrose' convenience store.

"A proper Waitrose supermarket in Shrewsbury will add considerably to the range of products available in the town."

However, other people living in the area have voiced their support and said a discount store would be a positive addition.

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Jon Good said: "I would like to support the principle of this. The south side of town needs a greater variety of stores. A DIY store would also be very useful here."

Meanwhile Robert Cox said: "There is a substantial amount of residential development taking place on the south side of town at present.

"The lion's share of choice for supermarkets is on the north side and the proposal by Lidl would help to reduce that imbalance.

"It would also have the benefit, in my opinion, of reducing at least some of the traffic pressure on the Meole Brace Retail Park."

The plans are available to view on Shropshire Council's planning website.

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