German supermarket giant Lidl are holding an exhibition displaying plans for a new foodstore and ‘30 apartments’ in Upper High Street.

Residents will be able to discuss the proposals at a meeting at the Methodist Church in Ashley Road, Epsom between 3pm and 8pm on Wednesday, January 18.

The planners have also invited residents to share their views before an application is lodged.

A council spokesman confirmed that no application had been filed for the site.

The building, comprising the new supermarket and apartments, would be four storeys tall and the store itself will be 1,424sq/m. The actual store site iwould cover an area of approximately 1.2 acres.

There would also be 88 car parking spaces on the site for residents and shoppers.

Lidl stated that the benefits of the proposed store and apartment complex were:

  • “Bringing a derelict brownfield site back into use; “Increasing shopping choice in Epsom;
  • “Creation of up to 40 full- and part-time jobs for local people;
  • “30 new apartments to contribute towards local housing need;
  • “Attracting more investment into Epsom."

From February 2016: Aldi battle Lidl application for former Dairy Crest site in Alexandra Road, Epsom and hint at their own Upper High Street plans

From April 2016: Epsom and Ewell Borough Council reject Aldi's plans for new store and flats on former Dairy Crest site in Alexandra Road

From October 2016: Aldi appeal Epsom and Ewell Borough Council's decision to reject controversial plans for new store

Lidl informally announced its plans for the “medium-sized foodstore” in April 2016 in an objection to rival chain Aldi’s application for the old Dairy Crest site just metres away.

The Aldi application was unanimously rejected by Epsom and Ewell Borough Council’s planning committee in April 2016. Councillor George Wood said at the time: “In all my years on the planning committee I fail to recall a time when the planning officers have so definitively recommended refusal.”

Julie Morris, a former borough councillor and landscape gardener from nearby Mill Road, opposed the Aldi application last year.

She believed the proposed location, on the old Dairy Crest site, was “entirely wrong” and would exacerbate traffic problems.

Mrs Morris said: “It is quite a relief that they have come to the forefront because we have known for some time that Lidl own that site, and the Upper High Street is the right place for a foodstore.

“I can’t comment on the details at the moment, but I would welcome it in principal.”

In the objection letter, 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.

A council spokesman said this week: “I can confirm that the council has not received a planning application for the proposed Upper High Street development.

“Our understanding is that Lidl are currently engaging with the local community before submitting an application – this is considered good practice in developments of this type to ensure the applicant can take on all views before formally communicating with the planning authority.”

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