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Lidl and Aldi's battle for Market Deeping decided by South Kesteven District Council

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Plans for a new budget supermarket have been refused due to concerns that it would take shoppers away from the town centre.

Lidl applied to South Kesteven District Council to build a store in Peterborough Road, Market Deeping - about 2.5km from the town centre.

The supermarket chain submitted the plans to create a 2,277 square foot shop and 40 jobs, with parking for 128 cars.

Plans for the Market Deeping Lidl
Plans for the Market Deeping Lidl

Aldi has also announced its hopes to build a store at The Deeping Centre off Godsey Lane as part of a town centre redevelopment project in Market Deeping.

The rival supermarket chain is set to submit its own plans to July, and with such a close proximity to the town centre, is the preferred option for councillors.

Christina Weguelin, asset manager at The Deeping Centre, told the council that the town can't 'viably support two supermarkets'.

"If you approve the Lidl application for out of town, you won't be able to progress with the new site out of town," she said.

Lidl's spokesperson raised concerns that Aldi’s chosen location was occupied in part by a petrol station which has a lease until 2030, and a public car park. However, Christina assured councillors that plans are underway to get the lease transferred.

Coun Ashley Baxter (Ind - Market and West Deeping), who has been leading a campaign for a new supermarket in the town, voiced his concerns about the location but insisted he had nothing against the Lidl brand, adding that he can't tell the difference between Lidl and Aldi.

"This site would have a detrimental impact on the historic access to our town from the north," he said.

Coun Virginia Moran (Ind - Market and West Deeping) also criticised the proposed building's appearance for drivers travelling on the A15 and believes if development continues in that direction Market Deeping will end up joining with Langtoft.

Lidl's representatives had suggested cladding the building in stone to make it look more attractive, but councillors were not won over by this.

Coun Helen Crawford (Con - Bourne West) said: "You've got to think about the first impression when you come into the town. I don't think stone facing is a great entrance into town."

A key issue for councillors about the site location was that it would draw shoppers away from the town centre, where many of the businesses are located.

They believe that people visiting a town centre supermarket would be more likely to peruse the town shops than if they were visiting a store on the outskirts.

Representatives from Lidl said that they didn’t believe that a store would detract from high street shops and businesses, as shoppers would still need to visit the butchers to buy meat or a newsagents to buy cigarettes.

Coun Judy Stevens told the committee that traders have 'gone through the mill' so they need to be considered.

Following recommendations from officers, the planning committee could not support the plans for the multi-million-pound store which would pose "significant and irreversible damage to the town centre.”

Using the neighbourhood plan, which gives residents a say on unwanted developments, and legal arguments from the officers, the application was unanimously rejected.

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