Plans to build a new Lidl store are set to be refused once again, despite overwhelming public support for the branch.
Proposals for a branch of the discount German supermarket chain on land at Grove Road, Grove were resubmitted earlier in the year, after previously being squashed by the council.
A decision was due to be made about the new plans in May but the council said it had to wait for technical consultations responses.
READ MORE: Grove community divided over Lidl store
Now, a final decision about the latest application to build the store will be made by elected members at a Vale of White Horse Planning Committee meeting on August 17, however planners have recommended the supermarket be refused.
Planning officers have judged that the impact on the existing Co-op at the local Grovelands centre outweighs the benefits of a new Lidl store.
Jason Buckley, regional head of property at Lidl said: “Clearly it is disappointing that officers have recommended our scheme is refused.
“It is a finely balanced planning consideration, and it is now up to elected members to consider the recommendation, the planning submission, and the public support in coming to a final decision.
“In planning terms, it has already been accepted that the proposed site is suitable for development – whether that is new homes, a discount foodstore, or another use.
“The question in front of members is not if the site should be developed, but when and what for.
“We believe a Lidl store would offer the greatest benefit to the community, especially during this cost-of-living crisis, and we hope councillors agree.”
The recommendation has been made despite significant public support in the area.
Grove Parish Council have declared their backing for the plans and a public consultation found that more than 80 per cent of respondents supported the proposals.
Grove district councillor Ben Mabbett previously suggested the council is “dragging its feet” and leaving the application in “limbo”, as the decision on plans for a Lidl continue to be delayed.
He said: “I have been stopped in the street to ask when we are getting a Lidl. There is a huge amount of public support for it. Wantage and Grove needs a budget supermarket.”
Hundreds of residents have also taken to social media to make their support clear through an online community campaign page and a petition has even been created.
The new store would create up to 40 full-time jobs and the brand estimates it could save residents up to 30 per cent on an average weekly shop.
This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.
You can get in touch with her by emailing: email@example.com
Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry
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