Lidl sets out its stall for new Bishop's Stortford store
Lidl has launched a public consultation about its plans for a new store in Bishop's Stortford.
The discount supermarket chain wants to make a "multi-million-pound investment" in Stansted Road, building a 2,382 sq m (25,639 sq ft) branch with a retail area of 1,414 sq m (15,220 sq ft).
It has asked East Herts Council for planning permission to use the site currently occupied by the Gates of Stortford Ford dealership. It is understood that business will be relocated.
Lidl GB's regional head of property, Jason Buckley, said: "We're extremely excited about the prospect of opening a new Lidl store in Bishop's Stortford and serving our fresh, quality and incredibly good value produce which shoppers across the country have come to love.
"Our plans are set to create up to 40 jobs, which would be fantastic for the local community, and we hope as many people as possible are able to join us for this 'virtual' public consultation. We look forward to sharing and discussing our plans with everyone."
Lidl is promising an in-store bakery, customer toilets and 147 of its "largest format (5.2m x 2.7m) parking spaces", including 10 for the disabled, 10 parent-and-child bays and two electric vehicle charging points. "Safe and secure" bicycle parking will be provided close to the store entrance.
As part of the Schwarz group, Lidl is one of Europe's leading food retailers. With a presence in 32 countries, the supermarket chain, which has more than 310,000 employees globally, operates around 11,200 stores and more than 200 warehouses and distribution centres.
The German brand arrived in the UK in 1994 and now has more than 25,000 employees, over 860 outlets and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales.
Lidl previously targeted Bishop's Stortford with plans for a branch in London Road – on the site now occupied by its rival Aldi.
The new planning application, broadly welcomed by Bishop's Stortford Town Council, is part of the company's wider £1.3bn investment plans across Britain in 2021 and 2022.
Lidl has set out what it calls the key benefits of its scheme on the consultation website.
Improved local shopping choice
- The first Lidl foodstore in East Herts and a new neighbourhood foodstore for existing and new residents to the north of Bishop's Stortford.
- The store will help to reduce the need to travel.
- Lidl stocks a variety of product lines not available from other supermarkets.
- The site is well located, easily accessible, connects into an extensive network of pedestrian footways and is accessible using public transport via bus stops on Stansted Road.
- Creation of 40 full-time equivalent jobs for local people.
- Lidl will work with the local authority and other agencies to ensure local people benefit from these new jobs.
- Its entry-level wages are aligned with those advocated by the Living Wage Foundation, which is above the level recommended by the Government, with pay starting at £9.50 per hour.
- Lidl does not operate zero hour contracts.
- The proposal constitutes a "significant investment" in the Bishop's Stortford community and provides a new economic use for the Gates of Stortford site.
- The new building will be of a high quality, modern design and incorporate a range of energy efficiency and sustainability measures, including solar panels.
- The proposal is accompanied by a comprehensive landscaping scheme, which will provide new opportunities for soft landscaping and planting, which will deliver a biodiversity net gain compared with its existing use.
To access the public consultation online, see bishopsstortford.expansion.lidl.co.uk. Residents with questions can call Lidl's consultation team on 0800 089 0361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.