Supermarket chain Lidl has made a last ditch plea for South Kesteven District Council officers to change their mind over plans to refuse a new store in Market Deeping.
The authority’s planning committee has been recommended to turn down the multi-million-pound plans for Peterborough Road on Thursday with officers instead preferring a town centre location.
They are backed by a number of traders who warned Lidl’s proposal could do severe damage to the town centre.
Aldi recently went out for consultation on proposals for the Deepings Centre – the option officers prefer.
In a statement on Tuesday however, a spokesman for Lidl said there was a “large number of residents” who supported their plans and that the Deepings Centre site came with its own difficulties.
More than 210 residents have now written to SKDC urging the council to give the green light to the plans.
Lidl’s statement said Aldi’s chosen location was occupied in part by a petrol station, and a public car park.
“The petrol station has a lease until 2030, so the land would not be available until then,” it said.
“If the land did become available then obviously the Aldi proposal would involve the demolition of the petrol station and the loss of over 80 car parking spaces.
“We feel councillors should not refuse Lidl’s application on the basis that an Aldi store might come forward in the future, not withstanding this would also involve the loss of the petrol station and car parking spaces.”
The Lidl scheme would create a 2,277 square foot shop and 40 jobs, with parking for 128 cars.
Council officers said the development would have a “prominent, unattractive visual impact” on the area, particularly for people entering the town from the A15.
There currently aren’t any budget supermarkets in Market Deeping, forcing shoppers to travel further afield.
Objections from a group of 18 traders have said Lidl’s plan “poses significant and irreversible damage to the town centre”.
They said the town centre site Aldi was plumping for would “support town centre businesses, as people would link trips to other shops, pubs, cafés, and restaurants when they visit Aldi for groceries”.
“Market Deeping welcomes a new discount food store, particularly as people try to manage the rising cost of living.
“But we can have either an Aldi that will support the town centre, or an out of town Lidl that would harm it.”