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Lidl bids to build bigger store in Caister-on-Sea

PUBLISHED: 06:30 03 October 2014

The Lidl store in Caister.

Picture: James Bass

The Lidl store in Caister. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Supermarket competition could be hotting up if Lidl gets a green light to expand its Caister-on-Sea store.

The Lidl store in Caister.

Picture: James Bass The Lidl store in Caister. Picture: James Bass

The German supermarket chain has submitted plans to demolish its Norwich Road branch, near the police station, and replace it with a bigger unit, adding 564sqm of floor space.

In plans submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Lidl said the building would be “an entirely new design with a clean, modern appearance to bring the store up to date”.

It would also create six new part-time jobs, taking the total number of jobs at the store to 31.

While the company claims its focus on ‘bulk buying’ sets it apart from the supermarket giants Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons, investment in the store will be seen by many as a bid to attract more customers and compete with the ‘big four’.

Tony Overill, chairman of Caister-on-Sea Parish Council, said “many more parishioners” had started shopping at Lidl in recent years.

Tom Andrews, borough councillor for Caister South, said the store had seen an “influx” of local shoppers following the recent Tesco saga.

Two years ago Tesco’s widely welcomed plans to double the size of its Caister store - and provide the village with a brand new £1m village hall and youth centre at the same time - were dropped following repeated delays. The scheme had been taking shape for several years and was close to being signed off when Tesco pulled the plug in May 2012, saying they were delaying the planning application after ‘lengthy internal discussions’.

“Tesco let us down,” said Mr Andrews.

“I know a lot of people don’t use Tesco anymore because of the way they treated us.

“I must admit, I don’t go there very often. You can’t treat people badly and still expect their loyalty.”

Mr Andrews said when Lidl was built in 2001 there was an agreement for car parking spaces to be used by parents on the school run as well as shoppers wanting to visit Caister’s other shops. While the expansion would mean the loss of 13 spaces, he did not think it would impact on Caister’s schools.

A spokesman for Lidl, which also has a store in Pasteur Road, Great Yarmouth, said: “Subject to planning, we hope to commence on site next year.

“By carrying out these building works, we will be able to extend the footprint of the store, and install a bakery, bringing the whole store in line with our own modern specifications and with our customers’ expectations.

“We look forward to refreshing the look of the store and creating an even better shopping experience for the local community.

Earlier this year the company knocked down and expanded its North Walsham store in a similar scheme.

Comments on the Lidl expansion plans must reach the borough council planning department by October 24. The council is due to make a decision by November 27.

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