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Discount supermarket Lidl say they are hoping for a decision soon on their application to build a new store on the site of the old cattle market in Christy’s Lane, Shaftesbury.

It is understood that Lidl, who submitted their application for the site in June 2019, had hoped to get the scheme approved last autumn and have the store built and trading by the end of 2020.

However, after Dorset Council planners raised issues over the application the council says: ‘We are currently awaiting amended plans following discussions about design and layout.’

New drawings were submitted on 2 January.

lidl Shaftesbury
A computer graphic from the June 2019 application of how the Lidl store will look.

Lidl, meanwhile, told Gillingham News: ‘We’re hoping to receive a decision on our planning application in the coming weeks.’

There had been rumours in the town that the application had been delayed amid claims that neighbouring Tesco would not allow Lidl to use any of its land for an access route to the town centre – an important part of the plan for the new site.

But Lidl say they are ‘not aware of any problems’.

And a spokesman for Tesco simply said: ‘We are aware of Lidl’s plans for a supermarket on the Cattle Market site. We have not yet made our representations to the planning authority, but will be setting out our position to them soon.’

Lidl plans to build a store with an area of 1,261m2 which it says will create up to 40 full and part-time jobs and will ‘increase sustainable food shopping patterns for the residents of Shaftesbury’.

In the planning application last year Lidl’s agents stated: ‘Lidl are committed to the scheme. They are the freeholder of the application site and have every intention of delivering the proposal following a successful planning permission.’

They added: ‘Lidl have been seeking representation in Shaftesbury for several years. It is a proposal which is grounded in commercial reality …the scheme is fully funded and …the proposal can act as a catalyst for further town centre investment.’

Lidl Shaftesbury
There is no sign of activity at the Lidl site yet.
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