Lidl's plans for new Knaresborough store 'not thorough enough'

Lidls most recent effort to secure approval to build on the site of the former Co-Op on Chain lane have been deferred
Lidls most recent effort to secure approval to build on the site of the former Co-Op on Chain lane have been deferred

Plans by an international supermarket chain to establish a new store in Knareborough have again been delayed at planning committee.

Lidl’s most recent effort to secure approval to build on the site of the former Co-Op on Chain lane has been deferred, with councillors raising concerns that not enough has been done to address previously raised issues.

Chief among those was a disagreement over how high land could be raised on the site, despite planning documents stating this could be an average of 1.5 metres.

Coun Andrew Willoughby (Knaresborough East) said: “I am very aware that some people want the job to be done and for a store to be provided. But the town council feels at the moment that the designs are not thorough or improved enough.

“We do not have any objection to the building of a supermarket, and not one on this site, but the raising of the ground level affects the approach to Chain Lane and nearby residents.
“There is not enough brick work incorporated into the design to be compatible with the buildings and the houses nearby. The design is too alien in that street scene.”

Last week the Knaresborough Post reported that planning officers had recommended that the plans should be approved.

This is now the second time the committee has ruled against a recommendation of approval by officers for the site.

Changes put forward in updated plans include a shift to a one storey building, a reduction in the amount of a window glazing and additional brickwork.

However councillors were unconvinced that enough changes had been made to prevent a knock-on effect in the area. Coun John Batt (Knaresborough East): “I think it insults this committee that you haven’t come back with a design that suits the residential area.”

The company have stated they will work to address issues raised by councillors, such as height levels, returning for a further attempt on Thursday, August 10.

Graham Burr, Lidl UK’s Regional Head of Property, said: “We will work with Harrogate Borough Council’s officers to provide the information requested by members. We are committed to bringing a much improved store to Knaresborough and we hope that the application will be heard at the next planning committee meeting.”

Comments on the plans have poured in from across the town, with close to 90 writing in overall. A majority have favoured the plans, with 62 supporting and 23 objecting.

Supporters have included points such as Lidl’s current store in Knaresborough, located on York Road, being too small to meet demand. Residents adjacent to the site have spoken of their fears over the raising levels of the sites, along with the potential impact transporting the material needed for the elevation could have.

Planners estimate this could take 1,000 two-way lorry trips.

Joyce Tinkler said:“I am worried that we are going to have people looking through our bedroom windows, or we will have headlights shining through them.
“We will have lorries coming back and forth, bringing with them an increasing level of noise and air pollution."