The new Lidl supermarket in Shoreham should be open in time for Christmas and is being ‘broadly welcomed’ by the community.
The chairman of the Shoreham Society says residents are happy to almost have the discount store on their doorsteps.
But Gerard Rosenberg has raised concerns over the increase in traffic it will bring with the A259 Brighton Road often ‘gridlocked’ already.
Mr Rosenberg said: “The new Lidl is quite a way out of Shoreham town centre and a lot of people are welcoming it because it’s very good value for money.
“That’s why, along with Aldi, they have been very successful and over the last few years challenged the big supermarkets.
“I think people will welcome the competition.
“Morrisons were supposed to be opening in the old Parcelforce area but that fell through, so at the moment there’s only a medium-sized Co-op, and a smaller Co-op in the high street, in Shoreham.
“There have been rumours of a small Waitrose coming but the only definite supermarket coming fairly soon is Lidl.”
The new store, on The Malthouse Estate, Brighton Road, is nearly complete and should be open in exactly a month, in time for Christmas.
A Lidl spokeswoman confirmed: “We are pleased to say that work on the Lidl in Shoreham is nearly complete and we are scheduled to open on the December 10.”
The store will measure 60m by 30m and there will be parking for 100 cars.
Although Lidl says the impact on traffic will be minimal, and has contributed £150,000 towards local transport measures as part of the planning consent, Mr Rosenberg said the likelihood of future housing and retail in the area raises fears of even more congestion.
He said: “Trying to negotiate traffic along this strip from Brighton all the way to Worthing and back is already an absolute nightmare.
“In terms of competition people will welcome it, but the main issue which is insoluble is the increase in traffic along this small coastal ribbon.
“It’s going to get much worse, not only because of Lidl, but because there are proposals for over 1,000 homes west of the port area as well as retail.
“I just don’t know how we are going to deal with all the traffic.”
Mr Rosenberg added that the Shoreham Society hoped to discuss traffic issues with Adur District Council’s planners in the next future. He said the group were not against development that was ‘sensible and well-placed’ with appropriate infrastructure.
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