Lidl confirms plans for new store near Mumbles Road, but naysayers believe it’s way too big
A new Lidl planned off Mumbles Road in Swansea is too large and would cause traffic problems, objectors said.
More than 50 people attended a public meeting on the proposed store for Blackpill.
Concerns were also expressed about the development site being in a newly classified floodplain – and therefore subject to new Wales-wide planning guidelines coming into effect in December – and the number of parking spaces .
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Speaking after the meeting, Andrew Morgan, a resident of Mumbles Road, said: “Everyone felt that this was not the right place and that it was a major over-development.”
Mr Morgan said a key issue was the potential impact of drivers leaving a Mumbles Road filter lane in the store parking lot.
This would be the first of three successive sidings for westbound traffic, the other two being Glyn Crescent and Derwen Fawr Road.
Lidl said he is working closely with Swansea Council on the app, including any congestion issues.
The land in question was once a Shell gas station, and Mr Morgan said he believed a small convenience store would be acceptable.
Lidl plans to demolish a pair of semi-detached houses – one of which is empty – to make way for the new development.
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The planned store would be set back from the road and feature wood and stone cladding and a green or living roof. It would have a sales area of 1,102 m² on the ground floor – plus a floor above – 50 parking spaces and 6 bicycle spaces.
“We don’t need a big store,” Morgan said.
He said some people will say residents living nearby would make fewer trips downtown to their grocery store if it was built.
Mr Morgan, whose house would abut one side of the development, said: “It’s just that the scale is way too big.”
He said a new store would attract more people to the area, which he said could lead to more crime.
Mr Morgan also dismissed any suggestion that residents would not object if a Waitrose or Marks & Spencer grocery store were offered there.
Earlier this year, Lidl submitted a pre-requisition request to Swansea Council regarding the store. Planning officials said they felt the overall layout seemed cramped and could harm neighboring properties.
They also said that up to three times as much parking would need to be provided for a store of this size, and that a “radical overhaul” of the drainage strategy proposed by Lidl may be needed.
A retail assessment on behalf of Lidl found that Swansea West and Gower were not well served by discount food stores. The retailer, which has five stores in the county, said it would consider the council’s comments.
Its comprehensive planning application was accompanied by several reports, including an assessment of the consequences of the floods.
The assessment indicated that reference had been made to the new flood planning policy which will come into effect in Wales next month.
The planned store, he said, would be raised slightly and a durable drainage system would be installed to deal with the runoff.
But a municipal drainage officer responded to the flood assessment saying it was now obsolete and the entire site was in a flood-prone area.
The officer said a new assessment was needed, showing there was no increased risk to surrounding properties. He adds that the submitted drainage strategy is not considered acceptable.
A spokesperson for Lidl said the new store would, if approved, be a multimillion-pound investment that would create jobs.
He added: “We would like to reassure local residents that we are working closely with Swansea Council on our request.
“This includes plans for adequate parking and a transportation assessment to resolve any congestion issues.
“We are also in the process of updating our flood assessment to ensure compliance with upcoming guideline changes.”
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