Bexley Council officers are recommending Lidl’s plans for a new branch in Erith be rejected when it comes before planners this week.
It’s on the agenda this Thursday 23rd January. Previous plans were rejected for loss of employment space and encroaching on trees. A revised plan no longer encroaches on green space and a “Site of Importance for Nature Conservation” but council officers still object due to losing existing big-barn retail units.
They’re not objecting to a loss of highly specialised employment space but sheds containing stores such as ScrewFix. That’s not to say Lidl’s plan wasn’t dated. To again build a retail shed with extensive single level parking on a site near good transport links, instead of a mixed-use scheme with housing, doesn’t make much sense given housing shortages and targets in the borough.
Refusing to build on brownfield sites such as this increases the chances of building on parks – which is proposed nearby in Erith on a park on West Street.
Stores such as Screwfix located within the existing retail shed parade have moved towards being part of mixed-use sites elsewhere.
Bexley’s current plan seems to be to keep a run down set of retail sheds rather than push for new homes alongside new shops – whether that contains either existing stores or Lidl. Doing so increases the chances of more green space being lost elsewhere in the borough.