Final decision due on controversial Lidl plan amid major traffic concerns

Ashby Lidl Rapleys Resolution Road Aldi Tesco M&S
-Credit: (Image: Rapleys)


Councillors are finally set to approve plans for Ashby’s controversial new Lidl store after a series of delays. The long-running application has divided opinion and even been labelled “barmy” by opponents who fear traffic chaos.

Officials on North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) had been set to greenlight the scheme last month, but a range of concerns over Lidl’s plan emerged, forcing a last-minute delay. The supermarket chain wants to demolish the vacant Ashfield House office block in Resolution Road and replace it with a “clean and contemporary” store, but the location has been a major issue for many.

Some opponents have feared “traffic paralysis” if the Lidl is approved as it would be within touching distance of Ashby’s Tesco, Aldi and M&S stores. However, highways officials at Leicestershire County Council have raised no objections with the scheme despite many fears about the impacts on Resolution Road and adjoining Nottingham Road.

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In its report ahead of the decision, NWLDC says the location of the proposed store is not up for debate after its officers had found it to be “acceptable” despite the many concerns. The council also backs up Lidl’s claims there was a “lack of demand” in retaining Ashfield House as offices, finding that there were no “sequentially preferable sites” available for Lidl to take over.

Concerns have also been repeatedly raised about Lidl’s impacts on Ashby town centre, with some fearing it could “kill off” trade for good. However, NWLDC disagrees, finding the plan would have “no adverse impact” on Ashby town centre’s “vitality” or “viability”.

Ashfield House Resolution Road Ashby Lidl Tesco M&S Aldi Asda Ashby Town Council NWLDC
Ashfield House would have to be demolished to make way for the proposed Lidl store -Credit:Lee Garrett/Leicester Mercury

If approved, the new Lidl would come with 101 car parking spaces as well as a number of cycle storage spaces. It would also create 40 jobs - something the council says adds to the “economic benefits” of the scheme, but it also acknowledges that these jobs would be fewer than a fully retained Ashfield House office block.

Despite the concerns, NWLDC says the plan would “expand the retail choice” in Ashby and would “successfully integrate” into the area. Subject to Section 106 conditions, NWLDC is set to approve the Lidl at the Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday, July 10.

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