May 19, 2022 4.30 pm This story is over 24 months old

Aldi wins supermarket war as Lidl plans rejected in Market Deeping

Aldi plans for town centre location instead

The proposed Lidl in Market Deeping has been rejected as council planning chiefs eye up an Aldi application that is expected to arrive within months instead.

The plans for an out-of-town Lidl would have been a “body blow for the town centre”, one councillor claimed.

But rival budget supermarket Aldi will be ready to submit its own plans in a preferred location in the town centre instead by July.

Lidl had hoped to build on its store on land off Peterborough Road, despite pleas from town centre traders to reconsider.

South Kesteven District Council’s planning committee said they couldn’t support a store there while there was a better option which would support the town’s high street.

Lidl had attempted to cast doubt on the alternate site earlier this week, saying it would be unavailable until 2030, but the site owners say this isn’t correct.

Christina Wegulin, the asset manager for the Deepings Centre, told the meeting: “Traders are very concerned by the proposals for an out of town supermarket which would divert people away and cause damage.”

Aldi have carried out a consultation for their own Market Deeping store | Photo: Aldi

She confirmed that Aldi was very close to submitting its own plans for an area near Poundstretcher currently occupied by a petrol station.

She said it was preparing to surrender its lease, despite claims to the contrary from Lidl.

South Kesteven District councillor Judy Steven said the proposed Lidl store would be “yet another body blow for the town centre shops who have done their utmost over the difficult months and years we’ve been through.

“It would take the heartbeat out of Market Deeping. I understand people want a second supermarket, but this isn’t the right place. It would be a real let-down for traders.”

Ward councillor Ashley Baxter added: “It isn’t about which brand it is, Lidl or Aldi, but it has to be in the right place. Aldi seems very confident that they can deliver the site in the town centre, rather than on Peterborough Road.”

The proposed design for the store | Photo: Aldi

The application was also criticised for its unappealing appearance.

Councillor Virginia Moran said: “We don’t want the first thing people see when they come into the town to be a Lidl.

“This could be the thin end of the wedge – if development keeps going in that direction, how long before Market Deeping and Lagtoft join up? We value our independence.”

Representatives from Lidl said that they didn’t believe that a store would detract from high street shops and businesses, but still wanted to offer shoppers choice in difficult financial times.

They had also suggested cladding the building in stone to make it look more attractive.

However, the committee voted unanimously to reject it.