'Catastrophe' - Plans for new Lidl knocked back again

The supermarket chain wanted to buy up land, a fire station and houses to build a new Merseyside store.
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Bosses at supermarket chain Lidl said they were “naturally disappointed” Wirral Council rejected plans to buy land next to a roundabout in Upton.

The council had been considering plans again to sell land on Arrowe Park Road next to the roundabout near the Upton by-pass. The sale to Lidl would have brought £840,000 into the council if the plans had been approved.

If the new supermarket had gone ahead, its car park would have been built on the land and was expected to bring at least £160,000 a year in business rates into the council.

A Lidl spokesperson said: “We are naturally disappointed with the council’s decision regarding the land sale. We strongly believe a new Lidl food store would be of significant benefit to the area and with no discount offering currently available, residents are faced with limited choice and access to the great value produce a Lidl would bring.

“We will therefore be reviewing our options to deliver a new Lidl store to Upton and would like to reassure the community that any plans we bring forward in the future would include detailed impact assessments to support decision making.”

The sale was rejected over traffic concerns at the roundabout, the loss of mature trees, public footpaths, and the impact on independent shops in Upton village. Previous proposals in 2020 to sell the land to Lidl had been opposed by 1,400 people and councillors said people had demonstrated an “overwhelming strength of feeling” on the latest offer.

Land off the Upton Sainsbury's roundabout that could become a new Lidl. Credit: Google Street ViewLand off the Upton Sainsbury's roundabout that could become a new Lidl. Credit: Google Street View
Land off the Upton Sainsbury's roundabout that could become a new Lidl. Credit: Google Street View

Speaking against the proposal, Stephanie Miller raised concerns about air pollution. She said: “We are talking about the most over-used and dangerous roundabout in Wirral,” adding: “You will be creating a recipe for environmental and health catastrophe.”

Ms Miller told councillors: “We have a choice. A few pounds off your local shop or a few years off your life. Therefore I beg you to save our green and open space.”

During the debate, Cllr Jeff Green said he was opposed but acknowledged there were possible benefits from bringing money into the council and providing a discount food shop during the current cost of living crisis.

However Wirral Council leader Paul Stuart said: “This isn’t guaranteed money. It is only money once the purchaser is satisfied they have got what they want, not what we want, not what our residents want.”