Supermaket chain Lidl said a decision to delay talks on building a new store in Bridlington was “nonsensical” in a leaked email to councillors.
The fast growing discount store is looking to build a supermarket, restaurant and Premier Inn on Hilderthorpe coach park, which is owned by the East Riding of Yorkshire.
In the email, Lidl said after speaking to East Riding Council head of planning Alan Menzies and head of estates John Read: “We have been advised matters cannot be progressed, until after the elections in May. We see this as nonsensical, as investment in Bridlington, development of a longtime vacant site and a significant capital receipt to the council, is surely what the electorate want to see and is a vote winner.”
Town councillor Linda Chambers said her personal view was that it was “unbelievable you would want to turn down something like this. Anybody else would be biting their hands off”.
She said it again exposed the problems with the AAP and the lack of a plan B: “Although they have compulsorily purchased and demolished properties, they still don’t have the financial backing for the entire plan.
“I can’t see the AAP ever coming to fruition because Tesco is not going to move, so the huge piece of land which they were going to develop is not going to become available and the whole thing is bound to fall apart.”
Mr Menzies said yesterday the site had been withdrawn from sale, despite a number of expressions of interest, as they were “unable to secure a quality development that met the regeneration aspirations for the town.”
They were drawing up a “delivery strategy” for sites they own and others they want to acquire and the coach park was unlikely to be considered for release until next summer.
Lidl confirmed discussions had taken place with the council.