The site is allocated in the Kirklees Local Plan for housing development (32 houses). This allocation was made in the context of a previous planning application for housing at the site which was withdrawn in 2018, not long before the Local Plan was adopted.
The local area has seen a high level of housing delivery in recent years. In total – and excluding the proposal site - there are over 1,500 new dwellings committed within Lidl’s catchment area, including over 400 committed developments in recent years and 1,138 allocated in the Local Plan. This is a very significant level of planned new housing in the area – particularly given that there is no plan to improve or increase local retail facilities– and represents a 15% increase on the number of dwellings recorded in the 2011 census.
A planning application for a new Lidl store at the site was refused in December 2019, principally on the basis of the site’s allocation for residential development.
A further planning application was submitted and then withdrawn in March 2021 to allow for an updated household survey of shopping patterns to be undertaken, along with an associated retail impact assessment.
Lidl has now submitted a new planning application following completion of the updated household survey and retail impact assessment, as well as an updated viability assessment which considers the viability of residential development at the site. The updated retail assessment shows that the proposal will not have a detrimental impact on existing local shops and that there is a need for additional retail provision in the local area, while the viability assessment demonstrates that the site is not economically viable for residential development.
The appearance of the store building has also been amended to a more traditional stone design, similar to Lidl’s existing store in Holmfirth.
Lidl has undertaken extensive public consultation in relation to the previous planning applications, which have demonstrated a strong level of local support for the store proposals. The response to the public consultation undertaken in relation to the latest proposals has been significant with 461 responses received. The majority of responses were overwhelmingly positive, with 92% of respondents supportive of the proposals.
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