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Lidl applies for Gillingham store permission for fourth time


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Councillors are set to once again be asked to approve plans for the Towns' first Lidl supermarket.

The German company was first given the nod to open a store off Medway Road, Gillingham, in April last year.

Plans for a new Lidl in Gillingham
Plans for a new Lidl in Gillingham

However, the bid was blighted by legal challenges lodged by Asda, which has a supermarket just across the road.

As a result, councillors have been asked to consider the plans three times, with the last being in February.

Following the latest decision, Asda sought a third judicial review and the permission was "quashed" on Friday, September 10.

Quashing orders nullify a decision which has been made by a public body.

Medway Council's planning committee will be asked to consider the plans once again when it meets on Wednesday.

Asda Gillingham Pier, Gillingham
Asda Gillingham Pier, Gillingham

A report for the committee accepts the decision made on February 5 was "unlawful" due to errors in an officer's report.

It continued: "The council accepts it should have advised members on whether there were other alternative sites for the same type of development which was the subject of the application at a lesser risk of surface water flooding."

The latest report recommends committee members approve the plans for a fourth time.

Asda had argued Lidl's plans to open a 1,669-square metre store across the road from its much larger Gillingham Pier superstore would cause harm and damage to retail offers in the town centre.

Tesco, which has a store 3.5 miles away at Bowaters Roundabout, also raised similar concerns.

Tesco Extra, Bowaters Roundabout, Gillingham
Tesco Extra, Bowaters Roundabout, Gillingham

Meanwhile, Lidl has also applied for permission to build another supermarket on the site of the former Cuxton landfill in Roman Way, Strood.

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