A NEW supermarket store in Thornbury could harm the town centre, say traders. 

Discount chain Lidl applied for planning permission to South Gloucestershire Council in November last year to build a store in Midland Way. 

The proposed site was previously occupied by clothing supplier Alexandra Workwear, which had been based in the town for nearly 30 years. 

As part of the plans, if approved, the old unit would be completely demolished and replaced with the new Lidl store. 

It is believed up to 40 new full and part time jobs would be created.

Dozens of residents have welcomed the proposed store, saying it would create new jobs, improve the town's infrastructure, and broaden the range of shopping options. 

So far, 105 people have supported the application, while 16 others have expressed opposition - including supermarket rival Aldi and St Mary Shopping Centre. 

Gazette Series: The proposed Lidl site was occupied by clothing supplier Alexandra Workwear The proposed Lidl site was occupied by clothing supplier Alexandra Workwear (Image: Google Maps)

Aldi against the new store 

On behalf of Aldi, Matthew Morris director of Avison Young, said: "There remains significant concern over the likely impact of the proposal on Thornbury town centre given the direct competition posed by the Lidl store to the existing ALDI store.

"Unless it can be satisfied that the proposed Lidl will not have a significant adverse impact on Thornbury town centre, ALDI urges SGC to take a cautious approach and refuse planning permission."

Aimee Winter-Tuck from Thornbury Chamber of Commerce said: "I am concerned another large store will pull people further away from the town, we already have struggling shops due to the high street works and the car parks undergoing resurfacing. 

"Having another large shop will undoubtedly pull people away from the wonderful market town we are."

Alan Cole of St Mary Shopping Centre said: "The vitality, sustainability and commercial future of the town centre will be irreparably damaged through the introduction of another national food retailer. 

"Lidl's assertion that a new store will have no significant impact on town centre retail and that they do not compete with any other town centre retail, is simply nonsense. 

"The proposed Lidl site will only serve to divert further trade away from the high street and shopping centre."

He added: "The town centre needs time to fully recover and revitalise itself by attracting new customers and businesses. 

"After three decades of fortunately being able to work within the town and being witness to the impact of several financial crises and the development of other competitive retail schemes in neighbouring locations, I don't believe the town centre's future has ever been quite so precarious."

Gazette Series: An artist's impression of the proposed Thornbury LidlAn artist's impression of the proposed Thornbury Lidl (Image: Lidl)

Meanwhile, Kevin Wilkinson from Avon and Somerset Police urged Lidl to install a roller shutter on its front door and a movement sensor in its entrance lobby.

Thornbury Town Council also encouraged Lidl to include a landscaping plan that includes trees.

In addition, the town council asked SGC Highways engineers to review the junction from Whitebridge Gardens to Midland Way to improve safety for those exiting, especially those turning right.

The proposed supermarket would include a sales area with five aisles, a warehouse delivery area, freezer room, bakery, manager's office, staff facilities and customer toilets.

In addition, 95 car parking spaces would be created including six disabled, eight family plus two EV charging points and five new cycle hoops installed. 

"Strong desire within the community" for the new store - say Lidl 

A Lidl spokesperson says nearly 2,500 residents have supported their plans through its consultation. 

They said: “With nearly 2,500 residents confirming their support for our plans, it’s clear that there is a strong desire within the community for convenient access to a Lidl store. 

“These challenges therefore go against this clear public sentiment, however we remain fully committed to delivering our high quality, affordable produce to households in Thornbury.” 

Lidl previously said in a planning document: "We are confident that Lidl will not have a significant impact on town centre retail. 

"It is important to recognise that Lidl does not directly compete with many other town centre retail businesses."

You can view the application quoting P23/02925/F or see here - tinyurl.com/2kn44s6r