We want a Lidl!
By LESLEY INNES EAST Cambridgeshire residents have shwn unprecedented supprt fr a new Lidl stre in Ely. The German supermarket chain claims it is receiving letters and phne calls n a weekly basis urging the cmpany t push ahead with its plans t
By LESLEY INNES
EAST Cambridgeshire residents have shwn "unprecedented supprt" fr a new Lidl stre in Ely.
The German supermarket chain claims it is receiving letters and phne calls n a weekly basis urging the cmpany t push ahead with its plans t build a new stre at Angel Drve.
"The supprt has been fantastic," said Wendy Hurst, Lidl's acquisitins manager. "They say the decisin t refuse Lidl's planning applicatin made them s angry. We want t get t Ely as much as peple want us there.
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"We are trying t wrk with the cuncil t achieve a reslutin. The key is that the peple f Ely want chice and it will be healthy cmpetitin."
Lidl was refused permissin t build a new stre ppsite Tesc because East Cambridgeshire District Cuncil feared it wuld prmte ut-f-twn shpping and harm the "vibrancy and vitality f the city centre".
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Nw Lidl has resubmitted its planning applicatin and is taking its case t appeal.
It wants t build a 1,342 square metre supermarket n the site f EMG Mtrs in Angel Drve.
The cmpany had been lking fr a site in the city since 1994 and claimed its plan wuld bring up t 40 new jbs.
Cuncil fficers decided, hwever, that Lidl had nt thrughly researched alternative sites fr its new stre.
But Ms Hurst added: "We have had discussins with sme cuncillrs wh have almst agreed there are nt any ther preferred sites and in that sense we have dne as much wrk as we can.
"We have a lt f evidence that ur stre wuld nt harm the vibrancy r vitality f the city centre. We are a small, neighburhd stre which wuld nt impact n the twn centre at all.
"We are nt in the same league as Tesc and d nt generate the same amunt f traffic. We wuld tend t feed ff the Tesc traffic.
"Nw it will be interesting t see what is the utcme."
Cuncillr Peter Makes, chairman f East Cambridgeshire District Cuncil's strategic develpment cmmittee, said: "The cuncil has never been against Lidl cming t Ely but that is the miscnceptin amngst the public. We d nt want t see Lidl ging n that site and that is nt the same thing at all.
"There wuld be a cnsiderable increase in traffic n a little rundabut and that particular site is nt the right ne."
He added that the cuncil wants t wait until the Master Plan fr Ely is published in three weeks time befre making a decisin n the Lidl applicatin.
Lidl's resubmitted planning applicatin is ut t public cnsultatin and a decisin is expected in the spring.