New plans for future of Lidl store in Hartlepool revealed
Supermarket bosses are looking to scrap plans to demolish and rebuild a store in Hartlepool and instead expand the existing shop in the town.
Plans were approved by Hartlepool Borough Council in April last year for Lidl to demolish its store in Jesmond Gardens, and build a replacement store.
However store bosses have now decided to pursue an extension to the original foodstore instead of demolishing the site, and have submitted new plans to the council.
It comes as Lidl is set to open a store on Tees Bay Retail Park, off the town’s Brenda Road, after construction work started earlier in the year.
A planning statement from Rapleys LLP, on behalf of Lidl, said the change to plans for the Jesmond Gardens site comes after a review in response to wider company changes.
It said: "Since securing planning permission, Lidl have undertaken a review of the approved scheme in response to revisions to Lidl’s corporate specification.
"Rather than proceed with the approved replacement scheme, Lidl have taken the decision to pursue an extension option for the existing foodstore.
"Against this background, we are instructed to submit an application seeking full planning permission for the revised scheme."
The statement also said the proposed expanded Lidl store would provide up to 40 jobs and they have a policy of employing local people from all backgrounds to work in their stores.
Proposals submitted to Hartlepool Council by Lidl would see them extend their store in Jesmond Gardens by 725 sq. metres to 1,839 sq. metres.
The sales area would increase from 800 sq. metres to 1283 sq. metres, a net increase of 483 sq. metres.
The car parking would also increase from 59 to 107 spaces, including 8 disabled and 8 parent and child spaces.
New site access and two pedestrian pathways would be provided from Throston Grange Lane, as well as retaining the existing access points from Jesmond Gardens.
A planning statement on behalf of Lidl said the plans would provide a boost to shopping in Hartlepool.
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."
The proposals also see Lidl bosses looking to extend their existing Monday to Saturday opening hours from 8am-8pm to 7am-11pm.
The Sunday opening hours would remain from 10am-4pm.
The expanded existing store will be 727 sq. metre smaller than the proposed replacement store, while the sales area will be 131 sq. metre smaller.
There will also be 16 less car parking spaces.
A planning statement said customers tend to purchase the main staples of their shopping at Lidl, but then visit other retailers to purchase luxury food or more specialist items.
The plans will also improve the range of goods on offer to customers.
The first Lidl store opened in Germany in 1973. It now has more than 9,000 stores in 26 countries.