Supermarke­t on the move

Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - Philip NOR­RIS philip.nor­[email protected]­

Lidl checks out new home across town

SUPERMARKE­T chain Lidl wants to leave its Chel­tenham town cen­tre store and take over the build­ing cur­rently oc­cu­pied by Mata­lan less than a mile away.

It says im­prove­ment works are not pos­si­ble at its ex­ist­ing Grosvenor Ter­race branch and wants to re­lo­cate to the Mata­lan build­ing in Swin­don Road to create a mod­ern store.

A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion has been sub­mit­ted to Chel­tenham Bor­ough Coun­cil out­lin­ing its vision for the move, which it wants to com­plete as soon as pos­si­ble.

Doc­u­ments sug­gest the new store would open on the day the old store closes with up to 40 jobs trans­fer­ring down the road.

It is also sug­gested that the move could create an ad­di­tional 20 jobs.

The pro­posed move would not see Lidl take over the en­tire Mata­lan store as it would be sub-di­vided into two, with another re­tailer - un­known at this time - mov­ing in to the smaller sec­tion.

Lidl al­ready has a new store in

Tewkes­bury Road, Chel­tenham, which is just 1.5 miles away and been open less than a year. And it re-opened its Bishop’s Cleeve store last week.

It is not clear what Mata­lan’s plans for its pres­ence in Chel­tenham or its re­ac­tion to Lidl’s ap­pli­ca­tion. We have ap­proached Mata­lan and Lidl for com­ment.

Lidl says it is un­der­tak­ing a na­tion­wide pro­gramme of mod­ernising its stores in the UK. Up­dat­ing its older ones - such as the one in Chel­tenham town cen­tre - has been a pri­or­ity.

But, it would need more sales and non-sales floorspace to in­tro­duce an in-store bak­ery, ad­di­tional chiller and freezer stor­age and im­proved staff fa­cil­i­ties - as well as free, sur­face level park­ing for cus­tomers.

It says: “How­ever, there are no op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­tend the store or pro­vide sur­face level park­ing due to the tight phys­i­cal con­straints of the site... “The con­clu­sion has been drawn that it is nec­es­sary to re­lo­cate the store to be able to de­liver the high stan­dard of ac­com­mo­da­tion that Lidl seeks to pro­vide across the store port­fo­lio.”

It says the old store would cease trad­ing on the open­ing of the new store and would be put up for sale or rent by com­mer­cial agents - seek­ing a new oc­cu­pier as soon as pos­si­ble.

The Mata­lan store would be sub­di­vided with Lidl oc­cu­py­ing the larger unit, look­ing on to Swin­don Road with a glass front.

The car park would be re-ar­ranged with 131 park­ing spa­ces in to­tal, to in­clude six disabled spa­ces, eight parent and child spa­ces and cy­cle park­ing.

The pro­posed store’s open­ing hours will be 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturdays and for a six-hour pe­riod be­tween 10am and 6pm on Sun­days.

Lidl wants to leave its cur­rent store in Grosvenor Ter­race and move into the build­ing cur­rently oc­cu­pied by Mata­lan in Swin­don Road

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