There are concerns that city centre food stores could be forced to close down if Lidl is given the go-ahead to build a food store at the Three Counties Hotel site on Belmont Road in Hereford.

The comments from Planning Consultancy Services company JWPlanning state concerns that ‘the effect of the proposed Lidl store in association with the recently approved The Food Warehouse foodstore is likely to erode the role of convenience trading in the City Centre and risk further City Centre foodstore closures.

The report, submitted in September 2022, also highlights a number of other concerns. The report adds, ‘although the City Centre has a much broader base than convenience trading, the larger convenience foodstores (in addition to small convenience shops and the Buttermarket)
play an important role in supporting the overall vitality and viability of the City Centre and are potentially vulnerable.

The recent loss of Iceland may be a direct response to opening of TFW at Salmon Retail Park, but it is illustrative of the pressures facing retailers. Tesco has dual representation in the City, with the larger store being outside the City Centre. M&S has large a store in the City Centre, but the foodstore is at basement level and is modest in size and lacks convenient access to car parking.’

Since the application for a Lidl store at the Three Counties Hotel site was submitted earlier this year, a number of local residents have also criticised the plans, but a few have supported them, stating the need for a discount retail outlet in the South Wye area of the city.

NEWS | Plans for a new Lidl superstore and Drive Thru restaurant in Hereford officially submitted

Plans for a new Lidl superstore and Drive Thru restaurant in Hereford have been officially submitted to Herefordshire Council.

The plans detail the possibility of building a Lidl superstore and Drive Thru restaurant on the land where the Three Counties Hotel currently is. The owners of the hotel told Your Herefordshire in March that they had no plans to sell. Companies like Lidl can apply for planning permission prior to negotiating terms with the land owners.

The planning application states the following:

“Hybrid application for demolition of existing hotel and associated structures and erection of Class E foodstore with associated access, parking, servicing, drainage and landscaping (full permission sought) and erection of drive-thru unit with associated internal access and circulation (outline permission sought).”

The store would have approximately 100 parking spaces and 40 full time employees. Lidl would like the store to operate between the hours of 8am-10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on a Sunday.

Concerns have been raised on social media surrounding access to the site, with the A465 (Belmont Road) already heavily congested, with Asda, McDonald’s and Tesco attracting huge numbers of traffic and the road being one of the main access routes into the city centre.

More details can be found on the Herefordshire Council website by searching planning reference number – P221090/O