‘Think again’ call over new store access proposals

The current Lidl store in Morpeth. Picture by Jane Coltman.

The current Lidl store in Morpeth. Picture by Jane Coltman.

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A supermarket company is being urged to think again over its proposed access arrangements in its plans for a new store in Morpeth.

Lidl has submitted a bid to Northumberland County Council to demolish the existing food store in Stanley Terrace and erect a replacement store with a bigger sales area.

The larger site includes the former petrol filling station next to the outlet and a reconfigured car park would provide 116 parking spaces, including six disabled bays and six parent and child spaces.

Although residents in Burnside, who live just behind the former petrol station, are not against the extended store in principle, they are objecting to the proposed single entrance and exit point that will lead to the car park and the delivery bay next to Burnside’s boundary wall.

The response of Edna and Michael Whittle, who live in the street, includes the following: ‘The entrance/exit would be situated opposite an existing multi-HGV entrance/exit for the new Next, Pets at Home and Home Bargains stores.

‘The close proximity of the Burnside traffic entrance and Dark Lane roundabout would entail further disruption and congestion on Stanley Terrace.

‘With a proposed 7am to 11pm extended delivery plan, including bank holidays, there would be an increase in noise nuisance.

‘Due to the building’s height elevation so near to the residential properties in Burnside, we also feel that this will result in a loss of amenity for the owners/residents of these homes.

‘We feel that this whole situation could be improved if Lidl’s proposed delivery area was re-situated on the opposite side of the store, adjacent to the rear of Marks & Spencer, on Corporation Yard.

‘This is already a totally commercial area and could therefore accommodate this and the extended delivery hours that Lidl is proposing.’

Fellow Burnside resident Margaret Shipley’s views also mention environmental issues.

‘The narrow belt of greenery made up of trees and shrubs was planted some years ago on the recommendation and agreement of the council in order to form a protective area allowing residents of Burnside some privacy in their homes and gardens.

‘If Lidl rip this out and replace it with a much lesser area of planting, then this protection will be lost.’

Phillip Simpson and Lisa Bousfield also responded. They said: ‘We are not totally against the extension of Lidl, nor against progression.

‘We are, however, unsettled to the new proposals of which we as residents were not taken into consideration.’

Lidl says it has carried out consultation with local organisations and residents.

In addition, one of its planning documents says its noise and transport assessments conclude that ‘the noise from the re-developed store is unlikely to be noticeable and will not be intrusive’ and ‘the additional new traffic associated with the development will not have a severe impact on the highway network’.