Decision to be made on Lidl expansion and extended opening hours

Plans to expand a popular supermarket and extend its opening hours are recommended for approval by council planning bosses.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 16:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 16:25 pm
Lidle store in Jesmond Gardens, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

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

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 last year.

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

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

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

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.”

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’.

However a noise assessment carried out said the level of noise generated ‘would not be intrusive’ and the council’s public protection team had no objections.

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.

It said: “The proposal will improve customer choice and enhance the shopping experience for shoppers within this area of Hartlepool and the neighbouring area.

“A number of economic benefits will be provided as a result, including Lidl’s continued investment in the area and commitment to providing jobs and training for the local community.”

Plans also including increase the car parking from 59 to 107 spaces, including 8 disabled and 8 parent and child spaces.

New site access and two pedestrian pathways would also be provided from Throston Grange Lane, as well as retaining the existing access points from Jesmond Gardens.

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 Reporter

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service