Rejected Upton Lidl plans being put forward again

Twice-rejected plans for a new Lidl in Wirral are being put forward again.

The supermarket chain is seeking opinions on a new store near to the Arrowe Park Road roundabout in Upton. It said it “would like to bring a brand-new, sustainable store to Upton, offering the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices”.

For the development to go ahead, Lidl needs to get Wirral Council to agree to sell off land the local authority owns, which will be used for parking as well as get planning approval. The sale of the land has been rejected twice, most recently in December 2023.

On a new website, Lidl said the new plans “provides a great opportunity to do so, linking to existing footpaths and cycle routes and offering greater choice to local shoppers” and expects any impact on Upton’s high street “to be minimal” pointing to nearby supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s.

Lidl said the new store would provide around 40 full-time and part-time roles, 95 parking spaces, electric chargers, and improved footpaths. It has already bought the former fire station in Upton next door to the council land.

If the council had sold the land in December, it would have made £840,000 and the new store would bring in around £160,000 a year in business rates for the local authority.

However, it was rejected over traffic concerns at the roundabout, the loss of mature trees, public footpaths, and the impact on independent shops in Upton village.

Previous proposals in 2020 to sell the land to Lidl had been opposed by 1,400 people and councillors said people had demonstrated an “overwhelming strength of feeling” on the latest offer.

Speaking against the proposal, Stephanie Miller raised concerns about air pollution. She said, “We are talking about the most over-used and dangerous roundabout in Wirral,” adding, “You will be creating a recipe for environmental and health catastrophe.”

Ms Miller told councillors, “We have a choice. A few pounds off your local shop or a few years off your life. Therefore I beg you to save our green and open space.”

During the debate, Cllr Jeff Green said he was opposed but acknowledged there were possible benefits from bringing money into the council and providing a discount food shop during the current cost of living crisis.

Wirral Council leader Paul Stuart said, “This isn’t guaranteed money. It is only money once the purchaser is satisfied they have got what they want, not what we want, not what our residents want.”

A Lidl spokesperson previously said, “We are naturally disappointed with the council’s decision regarding the land sale. We strongly believe a new Lidl food store would be of significant benefit to the area and, with no discount offering currently available, residents are faced with limited choice.

“We will therefore be reviewing our options to deliver a new Lidl store to Upton and would like to reassure the community that any plans we bring forward in the future would include detailed impact assessments to support decision making.”

To see the new Lidl plans, click here

Image: Visual of proposed Lidl store. Credit: Lidl GB

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