A discount retailer has submitted a planning application to demolish a local gym and their existing store so they can replace it with a new larger store.
Lidl have applied to build a new foodstore at Summerfields Village Centre immediately adjacent to their existing store, on the site currently occupied by the energi Fitness Club.
Supporting documentation states "A detailed survey of the existing store has been undertaken in order to identify the scope of works required to bring the store up to Lidl's high company standards. Due to the extensive works required, it has been found to be more cost and time-effective to replace the existing foodstore and build a brand new, up-to-date building.
"This decision has also been heavily influenced by the availability of the neighbouring Energie Fitness Club, with the current site owners being prepared to dispose of the site to Lidl to facilitate the development of a new Lidl store."
The replacement store will be approximately twice the scale of the existing Lidl store, with 2,480m2 gross floorspace, and be served by a total of 137 parking spaces, including six disabled and eight parent and child spaces, together with cycle parking facilities.
The new store will offer an identical range of goods to the existing store, along with an expansion of the bakery product lines following the introduction of an in-store bakery.
The additional sales floorspace will allow for wider aisles, larger product displays and more spacious circulation area on entry to the store, whilst the extra non-sales floorspace will provide for a large pallet freezer, bakery preparation area, customer toilets, more generous storage space and improved staff accommodation.
The company says the delivery of a brand-new building will also enable a range of energy efficient technologies to be adopted.
If planning permission is granted then Lidl proposes to phase the development so the existing store will remain in operation whilst the new store is constructed and will cease trading and be demolished to provide car parking on the opening of the replacement store.
All existing members of staff will be transferred to the new store and it is expected that two additional full-time and 10 to 15 additional part-time jobs will be created.
The new Lidl store will be single storey, lower in height when than the existing 2-storey fitness club building, and will generally occupy the footprint of the existing fitness club. The store entrance will face towards the neighbouring retail parade, with customer car parking provided between the new and existing buildings.
The replacement store's opening hours will be 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturdays and for a six-hour period between 10am and 5pm on Sundays. Whilst the existing store car park is available for customers to use free of charge for up to 60 minutes, this period of time will be extended to 90 minutes when the new store is opened.
Lidl UK's Regional Head of Property, Stuart Jardine, commented: "Our current Wilmslow store is extremely popular but is no longer able to meet the needs of our customers. An opportunity has arisen to purchase the property currently occupied by the Energie Fitness Club, which means that we can improve our retail offering in Wilmslow."
Stuart Jardine added: "A new, more modern store will allow us to stock a wider range of products and improve the shopping experience for our customers. The proposed new store is only metres away from the current store, which will result in a smooth transition for our regular customers."
Some local residents who have got together to fight Lidl's plans to build a larger store, saying it will be closer to more homes and result in noise and light pollution, loss of privacy and loss of greenery. They are meeting with Tatton MP Esther McVey at the site later this week to discuss their concerns.
Lidl's planning application can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 17/3208M. The last date for submitting comments is 31st August and a decision is expected by 22nd September.