Lidl 'good for Exmouth'
PUBLISHED: 16:15 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:55 10 June 2010
AN important first hurdle in the opening of a Lidl in Exmouth was overcome this week when the proposals were endorsed by town planners. Councillors on Monday evening backed plans to demolish the existing Eurotech unit at Dinan Way to make way for the ne
AN important first hurdle in the opening of a Lidl in Exmouth was overcome this week - when the proposals were endorsed by town planners.Councillors on Monday evening backed plans to demolish the existing Eurotech unit at Dinan Way to make way for the new supermarket and a state-of-the-art replacement factory. Eurotech, which employs 140 staff, and Lidl, the budget food store, are proposing a site share scheme.Lidl would end up with a supermarket with a 1,272 sq m sales area and 92 parking spaces, while Eurotech would get a replacement 4,314 sq m factory - with an extra 30 per cent of floorspace.Councillor Malcolm Mitchell said: "It would be a great improvement to what is there at the moment. The new store will be extremely useful, especially with nearby estates where people with low incomes live - Cheshire Road, Prince of Wales Drive, Brittany Road and Normandy Close."He said the new store would also have the benefit of closing relatively early - unlike other supermarkets which often stayed open 24 hours a day.Councillor Steve Gazzard also backed the plans, saying it would be 'good' for Exmouth. However, he had concerns about road safety and traffic entering and leaving the site. "Possibly the highways authority could put some kind of mini-roundabout. I am concerned about traffic coming up Dinan Way - it could be an accident waiting to happen."Exmouth's town manager Tony Collins said: "I fully support this application. It makes economic sense for Eurotech to use this proposal as a sensible way to improve their current factory and safeguard the jobs of their employees - currently 140 full-time staff - particularly in the present economic climate. I believe this is good use - preserving current employment for the town and creating a new opportunity."Michael Gittins, the chairman of the Exmouth Society, said: "We are very conscious that, at the present time, Exmouth is very concerned with drawing retail back to the town centre."The society had "grave doubts" and was worried the supermarket could affect town centre trade.The plans - supported by the town council - will now go to East Devon District Council planners for final consideration.