New supermarket plans thrown out by council

5 million proposals, with an additional 90,000 to be spent on local road improvements
5 million proposals, with an additional 90,000 to be spent on local road improvements

Multi-million pound plans to build a new supermarket in Sutton has been thrown out by the council.

Lidl UK has expressed its disappointment following a decision by Ashfield District Council to turn down plans for a new store in Sutton.

The £5 million proposals, with an additional £90,000 to be spent on local road improvements, which were originally submitted in May 2017, would have seen the former Pretty Polly factory site on Mansfield Road transformed into a new 1,325 sqm Lidl supermarket.

However, the application was refused by Council officers without being taken to Planning Committee.

Jo Hawley, Head of Property at Lidl UK, said: “We’re really disheartened with the decision. We’ve worked tirelessly throughout the planning process to address all issues raised by the Council and have the support of many within the local community who want to see these plans go ahead. In fact, there are 175 expressions of support from local residents, including 74 letters, emails and comments that people have taken the time and trouble to write to the Council.

“This development represents a multi-million pound investment in the town and would help to bring a prominent yet disused site back into commercial use. It would also create up to 40 new full and part-time employment opportunities, provide more choice and give those living nearby a more convenient place to do their shopping.”

The plans were part of a UK-wide investment and development programme by Lidl UK which aims to create up to 50 new stores and thousands of jobs nationally over the next year.

“We had plans for up to four new stores in the Ashfield area, which would mean the creation of over 160 new jobs, so this is a serious setback - but I hope it’s not permanent”, added Mrs Hawley.

“We will now review our options, which include submitting another application for the site and appealing the decision, as we’re confident that we have a strong planning case.”

A spokesman from the council said: "Ashfield District Council has worked with partners to deliver great projects such as the £1.8m Idlewells Market refurbishment and the Shop Front Improvement Grants to revitalise Ashfield’s town centres.

"The council is concerned about the impact of this type of out-of-town proposal and its potential to undermine our vision for town centres, particularly Sutton.

"If approved, the store would have been likely to result in less trips to the town centre due to its proposed location being less accessible to town centre shoppers, encouraging more trips by car.

"The council is happy to work with Lidl in the future to secure appropriate town centre sites."