LIDL has submitted plans to build a new 1,325-square-metre store in Chard with more than 100 parking spaces.

The full planning application was submitted yesterday and will see the supermarket chain demolish a series of buildings on the Brecknell Willis site in Tapstone Road before building the new store and parking area.

The plans have been submitted with a second application which will see them build a small car park exclusively for Brecknell Willis use.

If approved, the new Lidl site will include 114 car parking spaces for customers.

Chard & Ilminster News:

The application documents said: “At present it is unclear how many members of staff would be employed at the proposed Lidl. However, a Lidl store typically employs around 40 employees.

“The delivery requirements of a Lidl store have been rationalised to maximise efficiency and mean that there is usually only two deliveries from an articulated vehicle to the store each day to deliver a load of mixed goods assembled at a centralised distribution depot.

“Additional deliveries of bread and milk are usually made in smaller vehicles prior to the store opening.

“The car park has capacity for 114 vehicles, including 6 accessible parking bays and 7 parent and child bays. This level of parking provision is suitable for the use proposed, and is in accordance with the councils parking standards.

“No designated cultural heritage features will be affected as a result of the proposal. While there is some evidence of activity in the area surrounding the site from prehistory onwards, the evidence is limited, and focused on the centre of the town which lies beyond the Site boundary to the west.

“Two buildings of early 20th century date within the Site have been identified as holding some heritage value.

“A former dwelling called The Elms, and a surviving component building of the early 20th century Iron Works along the north-western boundary of the Site have therefore been recommended for recording in advance of demolition.”

Chard & Ilminster News:

The proposal comprises:

  • Retail foodstore.
  • Associated parking facilities comprising of 114 total spaces. The foodstore is to include seven disabled, six parent and child spaces and 20 cycle spaces.
  • Access pedestrian routes and servicing.
  • Structured landscaping.

The planning documents added: “A pre-application meeting took place with officers at the Council in May 2016 (as well as email correspondence in July 2017) which has helped to inform the proposed development and the content of the planning application submission. Meetings have also taken place with Ward Councillors ahead of the submission.”

Lidl commenced trading in the UK in 1994 and currently has over 630 stores trading nationwide.

Brecknell Willis is a leading specialist in the field of electrification/traction for all types of transportation systems including tramways, metros and railways. Henry Brecknell and Sons began trading in 1854 and the company has been operating from Chard since 1938.

In 2015 they completed the construction of a new purpose-built factory.

Following the building of this new facility there are elements of the site which are now surplus to the requirements of the company, in particular the land and buildings subject of the new planning application.

The overall site is around 3.2 acres (1.27 hectares). The area for the Lidl and its associated car parking area is approximately 2.37 acres (0.95 hectares), leaving a further 0.8 acres (0.33 hectares) for the car park to be associated with Brecknell Willis.

Chard & Ilminster News:

The application also said: “There are a number of reasons why there is a compelling case for development on this site. Firstly, the site is located within the urban settlement boundary of Chard. Secondly, the site comprises previously developed land having been previously occupied by Brecknell Willis but the now vacant and redundant.

“The overall design proposal has also been influenced by the direct dialogue and comments received from the local community and councillors during pre-application meetings and consultation.”