Council to consider planning application for larger new concept Lidl store in Coleraine
CGI of Lidl’s proposed 'new concept' store in Coleraine.
Coleraine shoppers are hoping to enjoy a brand new and much larger Lidl's store with Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council's Planning Committee scheduled to consider the major development on Wednesday morning, 25th October.
The proposal is part of Lidl's development programme which involves the upgrade of many of its existing stores, as well as the development of new stores. In the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough, Lidl stores at Limavady and Ballymoney have already been successfully redeveloped.
Lidl's existing store at Riverside Retail Park, Coleraine was built about 17 years ago.
According to a planning report, "whilst its range of goods is more limited than other retailers, it has grown since the store opened. It has become more popular in recent years and the store trades above Lidl's average sales density in NI."
Location plan showing site of Lidl’s existing store and proposed location of new store.
Lidl states it has outgrown its existing store. The planning application seeks permission for a new larger store (2475sqm) so that it can "better meet the needs of both its customers and staff".
The proposal is seeking to relocate Lidl to a new site a short distance away. Unit 17, next door to Poundstretcher, would be demolished to create enough space to allow a larger store to be built, and would adjoin the existing Units 12-16 (which include Poundstretcher and Dunelm, as well as two currently vacant units), with the glazed entrance pod at its north-western corner.
Map of Riverside Retail Park Coleraine along with site of new proposed store.
The existing store has a net sales area of 1,276sqm and the proposed replacement store has 1,642sqm, a 29% increase.
The planning report adds: "This extra space means that products would not have to be stocked at a high density and would allow for the provision of wider aisles, resulting in a more accessible, customer focussed store."
The existing car park would be extended and the site plan shows 132 parking spaces to the front and side of the Lidl store. The majority of these will be larger than standard spaces which is another measure to ensure ease of access and customer comfort. Two charging points will also be provided for electric vehicles.
As one of Lidl's new concept stores it will benefit from an attractive more spacious modern design, providing "a much-improved shopping experience."
It will also have significantly improved staff welfare facilities, including the provision of staff showers, a locker room and canteen among others.
Proposed site layout plan for new Lidl store.
The overall design is highly sustainabe with PV panels, electric charging points, cycle stands, low energy and low water usage fittings, constructed of low maintenance and energy efficient materials. Having larger storage areas also minimises the number of deliveries required.
The proposal represents a significant investment in the Borough. The construction and fit out of the new Lidl store alone will be an investment of c. £4.5m and the store will support 40 jobs, 18 of which will be new jobs with the other 22 transferring across from the existing Lidl store.
If the application is successful, plans also include the subdivision of the existing Lidl building into two separate units for use for the sale of bulky retail goods and Class B4 storage and distribution. No end user for these nearly created units has been identified yet.
Love Ballymena has approached Lidl for comment on any future plans for the local store here in the town.