Lidl to buy up land, fire station and houses to build new Merseyside store

The original plans faced opposition from nearly 1,000 people and were later dropped.

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Plans for a new Lidl have come back to life as Wirral Council prepares to sell the land to the supermarket chain.

The local authority is planning to sell land at the roundabout between the Woodchurch Estate and Upton near the Sainsbury’s on the Upton by-pass for £840,000 plus VAT at a policy and resources committee meeting next week. The council could also expect to see £160,000 or more coming in from business rates if the new store opens.

If the sale goes ahead, Lidl will then submit a planning application for the site and cover the costs moving footpaths crossing the site. Committee documents show Lidl will not need to appeal against any possible refusal.

However the council said “it is entirely possible that any future planning decision may be rejected” and any sale will be subject to planning approval.

Councillors approved the sale of the site in October 2020 for £820,000 but the plans faced opposition from nearly 1,000 people and were later dropped.  According to a council report, “the land is a landscaped amenity buffer between housing, the fire station and the Upton by-pass.

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

“As such the development of the site will have an impact upon local amenity with the loss of open grassed space and several mature trees. If planning permission was secure conditions for enclosure and landscaping would of course seek to mitigate any negative impact upon local amenities.”

Lidl have now “increased the offer to purchase the land and changed the red line regarding the site required.” It’s also purchased the fire station next door and two houses to build a bigger store.

The council will also need to change the use of the site from residential as well as negotiate rights held by social housing provider Magenta Living. The report also said there was reputational risk if people objected to the plans but “it would be difficult to foresee that the council would be able to release the land for other uses.”