The supermarket chain’s 19,000 sq ft store in Blackburn is set to secure planning consent next week, the latest to come forward under Lidl’s expansion programme.
The discount supermarket is proposing to demolish an existing building at Furthergate Works on St Clement Street and replace it with a food store including parking.
The existing industrial unit on the site is currently occupied by Fix Auto; the company has signalled its intention to relocate and has been in discussion with Blackburn with Darwen Council about a move. The company’s owner, Peter Weddle, said the Lidl store “will help to facilitate the relocation of the business to premises which better meet our future needs”.
However, proposals have attracted an objection from Asda, which operates a nearby superstore at the nearby Grimshaw Retail Park.
Asda argued the proposed Lidl store would not be compliant with planning policy, given it will be replacing an employment site with retail, and argued “the layout and design of the proposed store is not of sufficient high-quality fronting onto a major transport route”.
The scheme has been recommended for approval despite Asda’s objections when Blackburn with Darwen’s planning committee next week.
Planning officers said: “The proposal will deliver a high quality retail development with associated off-street parking provision, which will assist in widening the retail offer in the borough; in accordance with the Council’s strategic aims and objectives for economic growth and expansion of public facilities and services, without prejudice to existing retail provision in the borough’s town and district centres.”
Lidl has ramped up its activity in the North West in recent years, with plans announced so far this year for stores in Bromborough, Oldham, and Winton.