The supermarket chain has been granted consent to build a store in Broadheath amid uncertainty about developer Nikal’s Altair scheme in Altrincham town centre, where Lidl has also committed to opening.
Lidl said it could take up to four years to deliver the Altair store and thus lodged the application for a supermarket at Altrincham Retail Park, which could be delivered more quickly.
The project, which would see the Homebase unit at Altrincham Retail Park expanded and subdivided to accommodate Lidl, was turned down by Trafford Council last summer as Altair was deemed a “sequentially preferable site”.
However, the resubmitted Broadheath application was approved by councillors this week after officers recommended the scheme for approval, satisfied that Lidl is committed to delivering both Altrincham stores. They also conceded that “there can be no firm guarantee that the Lidl at Altair will come about, within the expected timeframe on indeed at all”.
The council added that the benefits of the retail park store, in terms of a boost to the local economy and job creation, outweigh the applicant’s failure to comply with the sequential test.
“Preventing a new Lidl food store at the application site until such time as the Lidl at Altair is advanced would in fact be to delay the aforementioned benefits,” a report to Trafford’s planning committee said.
Councillors at Trafford Council’s planning committee meeting this week seemingly agreed.
“I don’t think we can pin everything on Altair given that it has been in the pipeline for half of my lifetime,” Cllr Aidan Williams said.
“The world moves on and if a business brings forward an application to develop elsewhere in the borough it should be entitled to do so.”
The outcome of an appeal against last year’s planning refusal, lodged by Orchard Street Investment Management, is due later this year.