Lidl and Flintshire Council tight lipped on Connah’s Quay supermarket progress
German supermarket giant, Lidl, and Flintshire Council are staying tight-lipped about the progress of a new store planned for Connah’s Quay.
The two are yet to respond to the latest inquiries submitted this week regarding the construction start date for the new supermarket on the site of the former Somerfield store.
Having received planning approval from the local authority, the empty site is set to be levelled and a new Lidl supermarket built, bringing 40 new jobs to the town centre.
However, with the site – which has been plagued by anti-social behaviour – still untouched, questions regarding the project’s start date are resurfacing once more.
The development journey has been lengthy. In September 2021, the council confirmed “commercially sensitive discussions” with an interested party, later identified as Lidl.
The site has been vacant since 2012 after it closed, causing the loss of over 30 jobs.
In November 2021, Lidl officially showed interest in the site, revealing plans to demolish the existing building and construct a 2,274sqm store.
The company also announced intentions to close its Deeside Retail Park store and transfer staff to the new Connah’s Quay location.
After a public consultation and submission of formal plans to the council in January 2022, planning permission was granted in November 2022.
The new Lidl store will feature customer favourites, like an in-house bakery, customer toilets, and longer checkout lines.
External refurbishments will also be carried out, with the existing car park providing 160 parking spaces, which include accessible spots, parent and child spaces, and electric vehicle charging points.
Despite the project’s approval, there were concerns about worsening traffic and parking issues in the town.
In response, Lidl has pledged to improve the existing entrance and maintain 84 parking spaces for permit holders.
With planning permission secured, rumours about potential issues with the council-owned pay-and-display car park began to circulate on social media.
Questions have been raised again about the progress of the development, stoking fears that Lidl may abandon the project.
In February, Lidl announced it was reducing its store opening programme across the UK to focus on expanding its warehouse capacity.
The discount retailer plans to open 25 new stores in 2023, down from 54 stores last year.
Earlier this week, Lidl cancelled its intentions for a new store in Swansea due to planning process delays that affected an agreement with the landowner.
In April, we asked Lidl about the construction schedule for the new supermarket and potential development hold-ups.
A spokesperson cited “complexities with the council relating to the car park.”
When we asked Flintshire Council about these “complexities,” a spokesperson said the council had “nothing to add.”
As of now, neither Lidl nor Flintshire Council has provided a construction timeline.
Responding this week to a social media post about the lack of progress on the proposed supermarket, Flintshire Councillor Bernie Attridge said:
“The delays are with the company (Lidl) who own the building and not FCC (Flintshire County Council), as the chief executive confirmed there are no hold-ups at our end.”
He added: “The land is protected in our LDP for retail, and Lidl was in negotiation with a couple of big-name anchor stores to join them on site.”
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