Lidl granted permission for retail unit in Ely after planning inspector overrules council

EMG Ford, Ely

EMG Ford, Ely - Credit: Archant

A SIX-year planning battle has ended with German retail giant Lidl getting planning permission to create a new store on the site of the EMG car sales business in Angel Drove at Ely.

East Cambridgeshire District Council turned down their latest application for a non food retail unit on the site last summer, claiming the plan would not fit in with its vision for the Station Gateway area.

But The Planning Inspectorate has overturned that decision after an appeal by Lidl, saying the proposed unit would neither prejudice the objectives for the Ely Station Gateway, or harm the retail strategy for Ely.

Lidl bought the site back in 2007 and failed to get permission to create a supermarket in 2007 and 2008, so instead sought permission in 2011 for a non food store, selling DIY goods, furniture, electrical and gas appliances, pet products and carpets.

It was that plan that was turned down in June 2012, but overturned by Planning Inspector David Smith in a decision released this week.

He said: “The proposal would not prejudice the objectives for the Ely Station Gateway area or harm the retail strategy for Ely. Furthermore, there would be no harm caused in relation to traffic, emissions and pollution, transport mode or the appearance of the area.”

When Lidl submitted the planning application in 2011, it said it planned to sell the Angel Drove site on to new retailers.

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The lease of current site occupiers, EMG Ford, is due to expire in November this year, but thave said they have no particular desire to leave the Angel Drove site and are seeking new terms.

said that it has a two-year notice agreement in place for the site and had no immediate plans to leave.


January 2007 - Lidl bought the Angel Drove site

October 2007 - A plan by Lidl to demolish the existing building and build a neighbourhood food store was refused

June 2008 - A revised application for a slightly smaller store was refused.

June 2008 - East Cambridgeshire District Council refused to consider a second plan to demolish the existing building and constuct a neighbourhood store, because the plan was too similar to a previous plan.

January 2009 - An appeal against the 2007 refusal dismissed after a public inquiry