Lidl still hopes to open in Nailsea

Lidl still hopes to find a site in Nailsea.

Lidl still hopes to find a site in Nailsea. - Credit: Archant

A supermarket chain has confirmed it is still looking to build a store in Nailsea after its original plan was scuppered.

Lidl wanted to build a store in the car park of Crown Glass Shopping Centre, but the planning application was rejected by North Somerset Council in December.

It was refused due to inadequate parking provision, poor access to the site, fears over the safety of pedestrians and the insensitive design of the building which council officers said would have a ‘detrimental effect’ on Nailsea’s character.

The controversial application, which was first submitted by Lidl in September 2014, drew scores of objections as people were desperate to keep the free parking spaces in the town centre off Stock Way South.

However, despite the huge opposition, many people said they were keen to have a Lidl in Nailsea at a different site.

The supermarket giant has now confirmed it is still looking for a suitable location in the town to build a store.

A Lidl spokesman however ruled out appealing against the council’s decision.

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She said: “I can confirm we are no longer pursuing that particular site (Stock Way South car park), however we will continue to search for other suitable sites in Nailsea, where we still have great interest.

“We found it enormously encouraging to see such enthusiasm from the local residents for a Lidl store in Nailsea and we hope to bring our offering to the town in the future.”

The news has come as a welcome boost for town leaders who are desperate to attract more businesses and visitors to the town centre.

Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell said: “It was clear from the public consultation that even the majority of residents who were opposed to the car park location were supportive of a Lidl store in the town.

“Lidl’s continuing interest in Nailsea is very welcome and hopefully they will be able to find a site that is supported by the majority.”

Bosses at Ellandi, the landlord of Crown Glass Shopping Centre, have also welcomed the news.

Mark Robinson, property director of Ellandi, said: “It is clearly disappointing Lidl could not be secured for the town centre.

“We will continue to invest in Nailsea, monitor any future planning applications and respond accordingly depending on their impact on the vitality of the whole town.”