‘All these supermarkets threaten my livelihood’

February 27 2015

A LOCAL shop owner is urging the council to consider the small convenience stores before granting planning permission for Lidl to build a supermarket in Muller Road.

A LOCAL shop owner is urging the council to consider the small convenience stores before granting planning permission for Lidl to build a supermarket in Muller Road.

Mr Hussain, who has been running MIS newsagents in Ashley Down Road for 20 years, says that if a Lidl is built, his business will "suffer dramatically".

He stated in a comment on the council's planning website: "In past years I have had a Co-op open up just up the road at the college. Prior to that a Sainsbury's opened up further up the road on Gloucester Road.

"If Lidl opens up on Muller Road my business will suffer dramatically - there are too many supermarkets in the area."

Mr Hussain says that the business supports him, his wife, four children, brother and his family.

The planning application to build in place of the former Ford garage in Muller Road was put forward by Lidl last October following consultation with local people.

Over 17,000 leaflets were distributed to residents in the area, inviting them to a public consultation held last August.

A spokesperson from Lidl said: "The purpose of the event was to allow local residents and other interested parties the opportunity to view our proposed plans, show their support and offer suggestions and feedback on any aspect of the application.

"Lidl had members of its development team on hand to answer any questions and visitors were able to sample some of the excellent selection of foods that Lidl can offer.

"We have around 1,600 carefully selected product lines of which approximately 80% are own brand.

"Offering this limited range allows Lidl to maintain low prices whilst not compromising the quality of our range."

The German discount supermarket says that it will employ 35 full and part-time staff, recruited locally, and build 57 car parking spaces.

A petition, set up in support of the store, has attracted over 1,500 signatures. Supporters of the Lidl supermarket say that the Lockleaze area has been crying out for a foodstore.

Lockleaze councillor Gill Kirk said: "I am in favour of Lidl providing a much needed affordable food store within walking distance for the residents of Lockleaze.

"This store will bring employment to local people and improve health and well-being by making fresh food more readily available in an area that has no supermarket."

Bishopston councillors have also said that they do not intend to oppose the store.

Mr Lucas, a local resident, commented on the council's planning site: "I fully support this application, the store will provide much needed, affordable goods to the local area.

"The location is ideal for a vast number of local residents who will be able to walk or cycle to the store."

Mr Callaghan, a Muller Road resident, commented against the proposals. He said: "Anyone who has seen the volume of traffic and chaos on Muller Road, that isn't confined solely to rush hour, would see instantly that adding a supermarket would add to the traffic volume and would be totally unfair on local residents."

The planning application is still pending consideration and a date for the committee meeting is still to be confirmed.