Could German giants soon be battling it out for supermarket superiority in Epsom?
Lidl informally announced its plans for a “medium-sized foodstore” to be built in Upper High Street, Epsom, in an objection to rival chain Aldi’s application for the old Dairy Crest site just metres away.
The objection letter was sent to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council on Tuesday, February 9.
An artist's impression of what the finished Aldi store in Alexandra Road, Epsom could look like
Aldi had lodged a controversial application to build a store between Alexandra Road and Church Road which has attracted wide-spread criticism.
The application has received more than 200 objections and more than 50 residents picketed outside the boarded-up site last month, claiming the store would be in “an entirely wrong location”.
And the latest objection to Aldi’s plans for six two-bedroom homes and a new store comes from supermarket rivals Lidl.
David McMurtary, associate director of Leicester-based planners Marrons Planning, wrote a letter of objection on behalf of Lidl.
It read: “Our clients are currently seeking to promote a town centre mixed-use development, to include a medium sized foodstore together with residential development on land within Epsom town centre on Upper High Street, Epsom.
"We are writing to object to the proposed Aldi development on the basis that it is contrary to the provisions of the development plan together with national planning policy set out in the Framework."
The site in Upper High Street, Epsom
A spokesman for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council said: “I can confirm that no planning application has been submitted for the Upper High Street site from any party.”
More than 50 Epsom residents protested against the proposed Alexandra Road site of the new Aldi on Sunday, January 31
Julie Morris, a resident of Mill Road and leader of the ‘Stop Aldi’ campaign, welcomed Lidl’s objection to Aldi’s application for the old Dairy Crest site and Lidl’s anticipated application for the Upper High Street site.
She said: “This is great news.
“The borough council's policies are for a food store on the Upper High Street site and for residential development on the old dairy site.
“Now that Lidl has made clear its intentions it surely gives the council more ammunition to refuse the current planning application from Aldi when it goes to the planning committee on March 10.”
Yesterday, Aldi announced it hopes to open 80 new stores as part of nationwide expansion plans.
An Aldi spokesperson said: “Aldi is committed to opening a store in Epsom, as we know many local people would like easier access to Aldi’s award-winning products and low prices.
“Aldi often trade successfully alongside other food retailers and we look forward to seeing the detail of any other proposals, should a planning application be submitted.”
What do you think? Comment below or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org