Plans for new Lidl in Mansfield Woodhouse put on hold

Councillors have put controversial proposals for a new Lidl in Mansfield Woodhouse on hold.
Councillors have put controversial proposals for a new Lidl in Mansfield Woodhouse on hold.

Councillors have put controversial proposals for a new Lidl in Mansfield Woodhouse on hold.

In October 2018, the discount retailer submitted a planning application to Mansfield District Council for a 1,324 sqm store at the site of the former Rippon head office on Leeming Lane South.

Planning officers had recommended that the application be given conditional permission.

However, the council’s planning committee met on Monday and are seeking further information from Nottinghamshire County Council's highways department before a decision will be made.

Concerns were raised by councillors at the meeting, and members of the public at consultation stage, over the volume of traffic the store would add to the already busy A60.

An Aldi store is set to open close to the site on October 3.

Councillor Lee Anderson, of the council's planning committee, said: “Have we learned nothing from the Sainsbury's junction?

"We are having to go cap in hand to the government for funding to sort it out, and a few years down the line we will be doing the same if we approve this.

"A new out-of-town store would be the nail in the coffin for the town centre. Our job is to regenerate it, and we seem hell-bent on destroying it."

Although the highways department did not object to the plans, councillors on the committee believe there are grounds for them to do so.

Councillor John Coxhead, who represents the Yeoman Hill ward, said: "As councillors, we should not be encouraging more traffic on the A60.

"If this application goes ahead, there will be 300 to 500 extra vehicles on the road at peak times.

"It is the worst piece of highway in this district, and we should be looking at alleviating traffic.

"I would request an up-to-date traffic audit if the whole junction, and a report on accidents at the four ways junction."

The planning officers’ report which was considered by councillors stated: "[The highways department] initially requested further information prior to determination as issues in respect of trip rates, net change in development trips, trip distribution, transfer trips, capacity assessment and accident history needed to be addressed. In addition questions were raised in respect of the proposed access and layout of the development.

"Following various discussions and the submission of an amended plan, the highway authority state that a suitable access arrangement has been agreed and whilst this is not strictly to DMRB standards they have been advised that it is likely to be approved by the departures board and therefore is acceptable subject to conditions.

"A CCTV camera would assist to enable the manual override of the junction control to move vehicles through the junction better when congestion is experienced and this should be secured via planning condition."

Councillor Andy Wetton, also of the council's planning committee said: "Highways have not done the correct thing. There will be problems on the road and once the store opens the impact will be noticeable."

Councillor Daniel Redfern added: "This would be the nail in the coffin for Mansfield Woodhouse's High Street, which is falling apart at the seams."