LETTER: Supermarket react to council’s Area Action Plan

Lidl. Altofts Road in Normanton. (W514D348)
Lidl. Altofts Road in Normanton. (W514D348)

A supermarket chain has responded to letters that appeared in the Bridlington Free Press on 8 January.

Lidl have been seeking a store in Bridlington since 2000. Historically our interest in the former Quay Road Gas Works site with an area of East Riding of Yorkshire’s car park to the rear, was rejected by the ERYC, due to the Area Action Plan.

At that time Lidl could not be accommodated within the A.A.P as ERYC were seeking a Tesco anchored scheme, with small format non-food retailers, who Tesco were happy to see adjacent.

Post Tesco’s withdrawal of interest in the Hilderthorpe Road site, ERYC comments to the effect a suitable developer could not be found for the site and contrary to discussions with the council at the end of 2014, when the council indicated the Lidl scheme was what the ERYC were seeking. The only constraint being ERYC would not dispose of the site until after the elections in May 2015.

Given ERYC’s failure to deliver Tesco, develop the A.A.P and deliver a scheme/developer for the Hilderthorpe Road site, the decision to sit on the site for six months, until after the election is nonsensical.

If an alternative site is brought forward in the intervening period, will the Hilderthorpe Road site remain vacant?

How does this decision ‘sit’ with planning policy?

As an end occupier, who will deliver a significant capital receipt to the council, develop a long time vacant site, create jobs, refocus retail in the town centre and represent a vote winner for councillors.

What is stopping ERYC from making the right decision other than common sense and dispose of the site to Lidl?

To make an Area Action Plan work requires demand from an end occupier – Lidl are an occupier, who both want to be in Bridlington and will deliver regeneration, achieving the objectives of the A.A.P.