The Proposed Development
- Provision of a new neighbourhood foodstore with 1,325m2 sales area (2,125m2 gross internal floor area);
- 125 free parking bays of which 7 will be Disabled spaces and 8 Parent & Child spaces;
- A modern high quality building incorporating a glazed shop front, set within substantial landscape planting;
- Only 2 to 3 deliveries a day, to a recessed loading bay on the side of the building;
- Retailing a limited range of core products (about 1,800 lines), the store will complement existing local retailers as shoppers will still undertake main and top-up shopping at other shops within the town centre; and
- Provision of up to 40 new jobs for local residents.
Proposed Site Layout
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Lidl’s proposed development involves the construction of a new single storey building that will provide 2,125 sq m gross internal floorspace with a net sales area of 1,325 sq m. The proposed development will provide 125 car parking bays, including Disabled and Parent & Child spaces, that will wrap around the front of the store.
The building will be a state-of-the-art, glass front design that will maximise natural daylight and incorporate other sustainable design features.
The site is well placed to encourage access by sustainable modes of transport, being within walking distance of housing to south and north of the site. Customer cycle parking will be provided to accommodate shoppers who may wish to visit the store by bicycle. Lidl are also proposing to provide an improved pedestrian and cycle pathway along the front of the store to improve accessibility for customers.
Vehicle access to the site will be taken off Thanet Way (A2990), a key arterial route in Herne Bay.
There are bus stops close to the site at the Greenhill Roundabout and at the Sea Street Roundabout which are served by the number 6 bus, connecting the site to the rest of Herne Bay, which runs approximately every half an hour and the ‘triangle’ bus which runs approximately every 15 minutes.
The store’s car parking spaces are arranged in a manner so that it will be safe and easy for customers to manoeuvre around the car park, with the disabled and parent and child parking located close to the store entrance.
Environment Agency mapping shows the site to be in “Flood Zone 1”, which is the lowest risk of flooding. The drainage system will also be designed to provide sufficient surface water attenuation so that the rate of storm water run-off will be restricted to the rate required by the Environment Agency. In granting planning permission the Council will require that the development will not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere.
The habitats on site comprise poor semi-improved grazed grassland which is of low ecological value. The hedgerow on the southern boundary was found to have some habitat value and consequently this will be retained and widened with further planting, but reduced to a more manageable height.
To the front of the site, but outside of the site boundary, there is a “Roadside Nature Reserve”. This is protected and managed as part of the Kent and Medway Road Verge Project in partnership with the Kent Wildlife Trust. The proposals will involve the removal of part of the Roadside Nature Reserve at the western extent of the southern site boundary to facilitate access. Following construction, approximately 18m of the verge will be replaced to close-up the existing access point.
We have consulted with Kent Wildlife Trust on our proposals and they have recommended that a new hedge is planted on the western site boundary and the existing hedgerow strengthened along the northern site boundary to compensate for the fragmentation of the hedgerow along the southern site boundary. They have also advised on the best approach to reinforce the Roadside Nature Reserve.
Lidl have taken into account these recommendations and are proposing a comprehensive landscaping strategy which will include the planting recommended by Kent Wildlife Trust along the western and northern boundary to provide a new wildlife corridor around the site. This will be paired with the provision of improved species rich grassland, new trees to the southern boundary and ornamental planting around the car park (using local species variants where possible).
A survey has also been undertaken to identify any other protected species on site, including badgers, bats and great crested newts, but none have been found to be present.
The traffic generation of a Lidl foodstore is minimal compared to a mainstream food retailer.
As part of the planning application a detailed Transport Assessment is being undertaken to establish the capacity of the surrounding road network and assess the effect of the proposed development.
In terms of traffic generation, it is estimated that the majority of trips will be linked, pass-by and transferred/diverted trips made by cars that will already be on the highway network.
It is important to recognise that discount foodstores stock a mere 1,800 products and have a very low turnover of circa £4m per annum. In contrast, more mainstream stores such as Sainsbury or Tesco can stock more than 30,000 products and turnover circa £30m. The turnover and traffic generation of a discount foodstore is extremely low in comparison.
In terms of delivery vehicles, the proposed store will have only 2-3 deliveries each day, which equates to a maximum of 6 movements (in and out). As a result, there will be no negative impact on the highway network arising from deliveries.
In respect of retail policy, no better sites have been identified within or adjoining any of the existing shopping centres in Herne Bay that are suitable and available to accommodate Lidl. The store is not expected to have any significant adverse impact on the health of any of the existing shopping centres, since it will compete with larger out-of-centre foodstores, and complement the existing stores in the town centre.