Decision set to be made next week on expansion plans for Hartlepool Lidl store

Lidl store in Jesmond Gardens, Hartlepool.
Lidl store in Jesmond Gardens, Hartlepool.

A decision is to be made by council planning bosses on proposals to expand a supermarket and extend its opening hours.

Hartlepool Borough Council planning committee was initially due to decide on proposals to increase the size of the Lidl store in Jesmond Gardens by 60% in December.

However councillors voted to defer the decision in order to carry out a site visit over concerns of how close a new second access road to the shop from Throston Grange Lane would be to an existing roundabout.

A decision will now be made by the planning committee next Wednesday, with a site visit to be carried out before the meeting.

The proposals see Lidl bosses looking to expand their store by 725 sq metres to 1,839 sq metres and also extend their existing Monday to Saturday opening hours from 8am-8pm to 7am-11pm.

Car parking would also be expanded from 59 to 107 spaces.

A report from senior planning officer Laura Chambers states the proposals meet all the requirements for the area and recommends the plans for approval.

It said: “It is not considered that the proposed increase in retail floor space in this location would be detrimental to the viability of the town centre or designated retail centres within the town.

“The design of the proposed extension is in keeping with the existing building and can be accommodated within the site without detriment to the character of the area or the amenity of neighbouring land users.”

A response from the council traffic and transport department to the plans said although the secondary access would be 29 metres from the roundabout, below the recommended 40 metres, it would still back the plans.

This is due to the ‘benefits to the general traffic flow’ as vehicles will no longer have to use the roundabout and carry out a U-turn on the A179.

They also recommended that a zebra crossing is installed on Throston Grange Lane at the expense of the developer.

Three letters of objection have been received to the plans from residents raising concerns of noise nuisance from proposed loading bays and arguing extended opening hours are ‘not necessary’.

A planning statement on behalf of Lidl said the proposals would provide a boost to shopping in Hartlepool and there will be up to 40 jobs at the store.

Originally Lidl bosses wanted to demolish the store and build a replacement at the same site and plans were approved for the move in April 2017.

However, after a review in response to ‘wider company changes’ the supermarket submitted the new expansion application earlier this year.

A decision will be made on the plans by the council planning committee at its meeting on Wednesday at the Civic Centre from 10am.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service