Waitrose has objected to plans to build a new Lidl store in Horsham.
Councillors are set to decided next week on whether to approve an application from the German supermarket chain to build a food store at the former Dreams site in Foundry Lane.
Ten letters of objection have been submitted to Horsham District Council’s planning portal along with a detailed letter from FirstPlan on behalf of Waitrose.
In Waitrose’s objection the retailer states its concern that the store will have a ‘significant adverse impact on vitality and viability of Horsham town centre’.
It says Lidl’s own figures show a ‘significant’ amount of trade will be taken away from the town centre and calls on the council to follow its Town Centre First Strategy.
The objection letter says: “Despite Horsham town centre’s favourable position, it remains vulnerable to the challenges which all ‘traditional’ high streets are currently facing as a result of significant changes in consumer shopping behaviour, and continued competition from out of centre retailers and internet sales.
It adds: “The proposed Lidl will draw significant levels of trade away from the town centre at a time when town centres need active, meaningful policy protection. The fact that existing town centre foodstores are trading well does not mean that they should not benefit from this protection. Indeed, the success of these stores plays an important role in supporting the health of the centre as a whole.”
Despite Waitrose objections 20 letters of support of the application have been received along with an 8,000 strong petition.
The plans are set to be discussed at Horsham District Council’s Planning Committee North meeting on Tuesday October 2.
To view the letter in full visit https://horsham.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s10256/6%20DC-18-1239.pdf
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