Council to consider plan for Paignton to get new discount supermarket

Torbay Weekly

Controversial plans for a new Lidl supermarket on the outskirts of Paignton will be considered by Torbay Council.

The store and two smaller stores would be built on an area to the west of Kings Ash Road that is currently vacant and would involve the creation of a new junction.

The proposed supermarket would have parking for 137 vehicles, including nine disabled spaces, nine parent and child spaces and just two for electric car charging.

The plans have split opinion among local residents. It is thought 218 representations were sent in by 185 people, of which 150 expressed support, 63 objected and seven were neutral.

Paignton Neighbourhood Forum has previously described the scheme as 'oversized and out of character'. It is worried Lidl will take money away from local business owners and the town centre.

There are also concerns that the store will take space that could be used for housing, and will lead to more congestion and have a negative effect on the local environment.

Some of those in favour of the plans argue Lidl is accessible for people on low incomes, takes pressure off of nearby supermarkets and reduces the need to travel.

The German retailer has set up a website especially for the proposed store, with pages detailing arguments in favour of the plans and links to the contact information of Torbay councillors.

It argues the new supermarket would create up to 40 new jobs, meet an existing need for a discount footsore in the area and would improve the visual impact of the land, parts of which are overgrown with vegetation.

There is already a Lidl store in Paignton town centre.

Last year, it was reported that Torbay Council had suggested a legal agreement to keep this store open for another 10 years as a condition of being able to build the out-of-town supermarket.

At the time, the discount chain said the condition would be 'wholly unacceptable and unreasonable'.

It is not clear if and how long its town centre store would continue to trade should the new supermarket get the green light.

A new spine road needed for the Kings Ash Road Lidl would result in around 145 metres of tree belt being lost from the north of the development.

Natural England and Devon County Council’s ecologist raised no objections to the plans, subject to the environmental impact being offset by the creation and management of new habitats elsewhere.

However, Paignton Neighbourhood Forum said: “This application typifies a lip-service approach to the legal requirements of biodiversity and ecology, at the expense of the local residents of our (potentially) beautiful town of Paignton.”

The land has been proposed for development since at least the early 1990s.

Torbay Council’s planning committee will meet on Monday, February 14, to decide if the area will finally be put into use.