Backlash to store’s plans for expansion

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A discount supermarket has bought homes next to its store and may demolish them to expand its car park.

Lidl, which has a store in Kingsway, Ossett, has bought four homes surrounding its supermarket and held a consultation in January over plans to extend its car park.

The discount chain now owns two houses in Kingsway and two in Wesley Street.

But campaigners in the town say they are concerned the supermarket will expand into their residential area.

David Ross, who lives close to the store, said: “We know they are planning to expand the store, not the car park.

“We have no gripe with the store as it is but we are totally against them expanding the store into the residential area.

“They still haven’t put a planning application in to extend the car park yet and we feel that we are being kept in the dark.”

Lidl said its “only priority” is to extend the car park but a spokeswoman said it has ambitions to expand the store in the future.

The homes in Kingsway now have demolition notices attached to them and the houses in Wesley Street are boarded up.

Mr Ross, 73, said he has written to the Prime Minister David Cameron and Wakefield Council about the plans.

He is organising a campaign with nearby residents and is planning to launch a petition against expansion in to residential areas.

Mr Ross added: “They have got no conscience about upsetting local residents, who are the people it will affect.”

A spokeswoman for Lidl said: “We have been open and honest about our ambitions to expand the store in the future, if the opportunity were to ever present itself.

“Currently, our only priority is to extend the existing carpark so that we can cater for our growing and incredibly valued customer base and ensure that parking spaces are available. The land purchased will enable us to do this.”

Coun Denise Jeffery, deputy council leader, said: “I have met with a lot of residents who are very upset about the plans and I understand there is a petition and they will be campaigning against it.

“I do think it is quite a surprising thing to buy these houses and knock them down for the Lidl. It is a very strange situation.”