Residents cheered with joy and delight as highly controversial plans to build a Lidl store in the centre of their village were thrown out.
The supermarket company wanted to build a store on the site of the 350-year-old Rose and Crown pub, in Chellaston, but, at a meeting of Derby City Council’s planning and control committee on Thursday night, the application was rejected on grounds of safety, what it would mean for the area in the future and traffic problems.
Dozens of locals were in the public gallery to hear city councillors decide to block the plans, which had been recommended for approval.
Despite the victory, John Bowden, chairman of the Chellaston Residents Association, said locals had “won the battle but not the war”.
He said: “It was a fantastic result but I expect Lidl will want to come back and try again. However, what has been proven is local opinion really matters and the councilors on the committee have listened to that and have voted against this plan very strongly. I thought it was going to be much narrower than that.”
More than 400 people sent letters of objection to the Lidl development in Chellaston.
He added: “What we have been saying has really hit home. This was too big a supermarket, right next to a huge school which is going to get bigger and which has 1,000 pupils that walk there every day. There were major safety issues with this. Plus, the impact on traffic would have been huge. It would have changed the face of Chellaston forever. I’m very pleased that the councillors have listed to us and supported us.”
Mr Bowden said he supported a supermarket being built in another part of Chellaston. He said: “We would fully support another large supermarket being built somewhere – but not here.”
Chellaston city councillor Phil Ingall said he was “elated and delighted”. He said: “I’m really, really pleased. The city councilor officers did not seem to give the issue of safety with this application much thought at all. Thankfully the councillors did and I’m very pleased with that. This was a real team effort and I’m thrilled with the result.”
City councillors Frank Harwood, Ged Potter, Lucy Care, Robin Wood and John Evans – who are on the committee – spoke out against the plans. Mr Wood said a supermarket should be build in Chellaston but in the Bonnie Prince area.
He said his main concern was for the safety of the children leaving Chellaston Academy, which is next to where the proposed site was, because of the potential increase of traffic that would come from the plans. He said: “Nothing is more important than the safety of future generations.”
The application indicated that the store would have employed between 25 and 40 full-time staff, with a condition in the planning permission that, where possible, these would be local people.
A representative from Lidl spoke at the meeting and said “safety was paramount” to the company and that a new supermarket was needed in the area because 15,000 people live within five minutes of the site.
Members of the community had successfully applied to Derby City Council to give the pub special status as an “asset of community value”. As a result, when owners Marston’s decided to sell, it had to tell the council, triggering a pause in which members of the community had a chance to bid for it. But they missed the deadline for doing so.
Source: Derby Telegraph