ADUR looks set to get its first discount food store, with approval granted for a Lidl in Shoreham.
A packed public gallery at Adur District Council’s planning committee meeting on Monday saw councillors unanimously agree the plan for Brighton Road.
It will mean the demolition of two existing units on the Malthouse Trading Estate, replacing them with a new 60m x 30m building and 97 parking spaces.
Pat Beresford said: “Shopping wise, we live in interesting times now because the next generation of shopping opportunities seems to have arrived in Adur with this application.
“Deep discount shopping seems to have a niche market all of its own and it fits better on this site. A bigger, more general supermarket would not have fitted on this site. It wouldn’t have been suitable.”
He described the proposed store as a ‘tin shed’ but said it fitted the purpose.
James Appleton, head of planning and regeneration, said the site was 1.3km from Shoreham town centre but it was not likely to impact on the shops in either Shoreham or Southwick, because it would run on a ‘deep discount format’, selling only bulk items and limited lines. It would also create employment for 40 staff, 35 of them part time and five full-time.
He said it was a fairly standard, functional design, which tended to be used by the discount retailers, but there would be space for public art along the frontage, to improve the look, and tree planting along Brighton Road.
A package of improvements totalling £150,000 was being negotiated, which would include landscaping, transport contributions and air quality monitoring.
Another important aspect was Lidl agreeing to part of the site being set aside for a bridge over the railway line, a key aspiration in the Shoreham regeneration scheme.
David Simmons said he welcomed the chance for a new bridge, as there were limited ways across the railway line in Shoreham, but he asked for the siting of it to be reconsidered. It had been suggested the bridge would be behind the store, out of public view, and therefore there was a security issue.
Mr Appleton explained they were trying to get the principle established of dedicating some land for the bridge, which had been accepted by Lidl, and the officers would look again at the access and visibility. The bridge would not, however, be funded through this application.
Approval was granted subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement and referral to the Secretary of State, which Mr Appleton suggested as a precaution.