No council backing for Lidl plan

PUBLISHED: 13:44 20 September 2007 | UPDATED: 12:52 04 May 2010

ELY city councillors have failed to give their backing to giant German supermarket chain, Lidl, to open a store in the city, claiming the project is premature . They are worried because they fear the site, opposite Tesco in Angel Drove, is unsuitable bec

ELY city councillors have failed to give their backing to giant German supermarket chain, Lidl, to open a store in the city, claiming the project is "premature".

They are worried because they fear the site, opposite Tesco in Angel Drove, is unsuitable because of highway issues.

And they believe once the Ely Master Plan - a complete overview of future residential, employment, retail and leisure development of Ely - is completed, a more suitable site could be found for the discount food store.

Lidl, which owns 380 stores nationwide, bought the land from EMG Motors and Hanson Concrete and plans to build a 1,342 square metre supermarket with 76 car parking spaces, creating up to 40 new jobs.

The company has been looking for a site in the city since 1994 and, if granted planning permission by East Cambridgeshire District Council, expects its new supermarket to open in two years.

It is seeking permission to demolish the present car showroom and build an access road to the rear of the one acre site where it has future plans for new two bedroom homes.

If Lidl gets the go-ahead for its plans, EMG Ford, which employs 15 people, will look for a new base in Ely.

Hanson Concrete, employing three people, has no plans to look for another base in the city. It will relocate its staff to other sites in Cambridgeshire.

- What do you think? Should the city council push ahead with the plan or wait? Write to: the Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4LS or email: editor@ely-standard.co.uk

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