Shrewsbury Lidl plan: Decision on supermarket is delayed again
A long running planning battle which could see a Lidl built in Shrewsbury is no closer to an end after councillors deferred a decision.
The German chain wants to build on land owned by Shrewsbury Town Football Club at its Oteley Road stadium.
Permission has already been granted for the supermarket, but the land is currently covered by a section 106 agreement protecting it for community use.
At a meeting of Shropshire Council's central planning committee on Thursday, councillors deferred a decision on proposals which would allow the community use to be switched to the current first team training pitch.
Since the decision was originally deferred in November, the club had provided information about work being done at its Sundorne training ground as mitigation for the loss of a sports pitch and agreed to provide changing facilities at the new community site.
But councillors voted instead to allow officers to negotiate any new agreement and put it back before the committee for final approval.
Any new section 106 will also be subject to Sport England not maintaining an objection having previously voiced concerns over the sustainability of the pitch and how it would be funded if it was turned into a 3g pitch.
Councillor Andrew Bannerman said: "What we are looking for is some hard information.
"We need a quality assessment of what we are losing and what we are going to get.
"Only in that way are we sure we will have mitigation for the loss of a sports pitch.
"Until we can be sure what we are getting is better than what we are losing, we can't sign it off."
Councillor Kevin Pardy said the issue was about getting the best deal for the community.
He said: "All I am asking for is the very best Shrewsbury Town Football Club can give to the people of the community.
"I am not too worried about what goes on with the pitches at Sundorne as they will only be used by Shrewsbury Town. What does worry me is this community pitch."
Planning agents working on behalf of the club said the proposed new community pitch would be available to four football teams, two male and two female, and have 57 hours a week of community use.
Under the plans, the pitch would be leased to Shrewsbury Town in the Community for a peppercorn rent.
Speaking after the decision, Brian Caldwell, chief executive of Shrewsbury Town Football Club, said: "I am very disappointed that once again it has been deferred.
"We felt there was enough information provided over the last three months since the last meeting which would have allowed a decision today.
"Hopefully we can get it approved third time round."