Posted: Mon 6th Mar 2023

Lidl explains why work has not started on a proposed new supermarket in Connah’s Quay

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 6th, 2023


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German supermarket giant Lidl has given an update on why building work is yet to begin on a brand new store on Connah’s Quay.

A vacant site in Connah’s Quay is set to be transformed into a new Lidl store, following planning permission being granted by Flintshire Council.

However, work is yet to start on the project which will bring 40 jobs to the town centre.

Here is a timeline of the development so far:

In September 2021, Deeside.com reported that Flintshire Council officials had been in “commercially sensitive discussions” with an “interested party” over plans to develop the site of a former supermarket that had been vacant for years.

The Connah’s Quay site, which previously housed a Somerfield store before being taken over by Co-Op, closed in 2012, resulting in the loss of over 30 jobs.

The building, valued at £1,000,000, had been on the market with various agents since its closure, and the lease ended in 2020.

Official confirmation that Lidl wanted to build a store at the site came in November 2021, when the retailer released details of its plans.

Lidl launched a public consultation before submitting a planning application to Flintshire Council.

The consultation confirmed that the existing building would be demolished, and a brand new 2,274sqm store would be built on the site.

Lidl also confirmed that it was looking to close the store at Deeside Retail Park, Queensferry, and relocate its staff to the new store in Connah’s Quay.

In January 2022, Lidl submitted formal plans to Flintshire Council for the development of a new store in Connah’s Quay that will require up to 40 full and part-time staff.

In-store facilities will include Lidl’s popular bakery, customer toilets, and longer-style tills.

Lidl said the “extensive redevelopment which will bring back into economic use this currently derelict, gateway site in the centre of Connah’s Quay, [with the] replacement of the existing building with a new, energy-efficient Lidl store, providing a spacious and attractive shopping environment for customers, and better facilities for Lidl colleagues.”

Refurbishment of the external areas and the existing car park will provide 160 parking spaces, including seven accessible spaces, ten parent and child spaces, and two electric vehicle charging spaces.

A report on Flintshire Council’s website at the end of January 2021 showed that 94% of the 69 people who responded to the public consultation supported the proposals.

Of these, 65 supported the proposals, two were against them, and two submitted comments without stating whether they supported the proposals or not.

Reasons given to support the development include regeneration of the site, which had been derelict and attracting anti-social behavior for some time, improved choice, shopping experience, and a welcome addition to the town.

A small number of concerns were raised during the process, including that the proposals would worsen existing traffic issues on the town’s High Street.

Residents with permits to park at the site have expressed concerns that there will no longer be enough room for their vehicles. In response, Lidl said the existing entrance to the site would be improved, with 84 parking spaces remaining available to permit holders out of a total of 162.

In July 2022, Lidl put its Deeside Retail Park store on the market while waiting for planning permission to be approved for the Connah’s Quay site.

Ten months after submitting a formal application for the new store, planning permission was granted in November 2022.

A Flintshire Council planning officer report on the application recommended the proposals be approved.

It stated: “The proposed new retail unit will be almost identical in scale to the existing building. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The Lidl store will also generally occupy the same position within the site as the former Co-op store, with the customer car park located to the front/east and side/south of the building. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The delivery area will be positioned on the western elevation and will be accessed from High Street through the store car park (not from Wepre Drive as existing). The design is relatively simple and consistent with other new build Lidl stores. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The report added: “The proposed store’s opening hours will be between 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturdays (including Bank/Public Holidays) and for a six-hour period between 10am and 6pm on Sundays.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Approval, with conditions such as keeping to the agreed opening hours, was granted in a delegated decision made by Flintshire Council’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Car park hold up? 

Rumours have been swirling for some time that the parking situation at the new supermarket, currently operating under a Flintshire Council pay and display system, has been presenting some difficulties.

Deeside.com asked Lidl about the schedule for the demolition of the old building and the construction of the new supermarket and if there was anything holding up the development, a spokesperson said:

“We are continuing to work through some complexities with the Council relating to the car park.”

“As such, we’re not yet able to confirm a timeline for construction.”

When asked, Flintshire Council said it had nothing to add to the comment offered by Lidl.

Flintshire Council is set to increase charges at their car parks and introduce payments at currently free car parks as part of their efforts to address the council’s budget deficit.

The changes will be implemented soon, but specific details are yet to be finalised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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