The Proposed Development
The proposed new development will provide the following:
- Provision of a new neighbourhood foodstore with 1,687m2 sales area (2,755m2 gross internal floor area). The sales floor space will be 401m2 larger than the former proposal;
- Regeneration of a key brownfield site that has remained vacant for a significant number of years, is unsightly and in a poor state of repair.
- 137 free parking bays of which 14 will be designated disability spaces, 14 will be for Brown Badge holders and 4 parent and child spaces. There will be 14 spaces with electric vehicle charging points (7 active and 7 passive). This is an increase of 33 spaces compared to the previous proposed scheme;
- A high quality building incorporating a fully glazed shop front that will significantly improve the visual amenity of the site;
- Only 1 delivery a day (max. 2 in peak season) to the rear of the building away from customer activity and views from Victoria Road and Stonefield Way. The service bay will slope down so that it is partly below ground level and will be screened by a 2.2m high acoustic timber fence;
- Two new improved vehicle access/egresses will be formed from Stonefield Way and Victoria Road providing improved customer access to and from the site as well as direct pedestrian links;
- Bensons for Beds will continue to trade from their existing unit, the former Comet unit, the dilapidated former Value Windows unit and the derelict Imperial House building will be demolished;
- Retailing a limited range of core products (1,800 lines) the store will complement existing local retailers as shoppers will still undertake top-up shopping at other shops within the surrounding area; and
- Provision of 40 new jobs for local residents.
Site Layout and Access
The proposed Lidl food store will be located with the shop front facing Victoria Road and the car park. Disabled and parent and child spaces will be located near the store entrance, with the rest of the car parking located to the east on the site of the former Comet unit and surrounding the Benson for Beds unit. An improved vehicle access point is proposed from Victoria Road as well as Stonefield Way as well as both pedestrian and cycle access from Victoria Road.
The proposed development encourages the use of more sustainable means of transport, thereby reducing vehicular trips on the local road network. Customers can travel to the store by bus, with a number of bus stops within close proximity of the store. For those who wish to travel to the store by bicycle, customer cycle parking is provided close to pedestrian links through to the store entrance on-site. The car parking spaces are arranged in a manner so that it is safe and easy for customers to manoeuvre around the car park.