Bid for new Lidl and 'affordable' housing development turned down

The discount supermarket chain had made a joint bid with a housing developer to create up to 120 homes in South Ayrshire.

Bid for new Lidl and housing development in Heathfield, South Ayrshire turned down iStock
Development: South Ayrshire Council rejected the proposal.

Budget supermarket Lidl has had its bid to build a new store in South Ayrshire knocked back.

The company had made a joint bid with a housing developer to create up to 120 homes at the site in Heathfield, adjacent to Asda.

One of the big “sells” of the joint proposal was that a third of the properties would be affordable housing.

Both Lidl and the housing development would have been accessed from a new roundabout on Heathfield Road under the proposals.

However council policy states that only stores under 1000 sqm, which meet “neighbourhood needs” and cannot be accommodated closer to town centres are given permission for out-of-town sites like Heathfield.

Lidl sought to persuade councillors that “discount retailing” was separate from other food retailers in order to circumvent the policy restrictions.

However, the report stated: “It is considered that the applicant has failed to provide satisfactory evidence to support this assertion, nor any mechanisms by which such a store could be conditioned to ensure such a use in perpetuity.”

It added that none of the conditions seek to restrict the sale of items to a limited range of products, nor offer any definition as to what “discount” means.

It continued: “It is considered that the applicant has failed to demonstrate why the store should be regarded as presenting a unique set of characteristics of such magnitude as to require a different approach to the assessment of the proposal.”

The report also criticised the application for failing to consider Ayr within its catchment area.

Planners also suggested that the development of housing within an area which has been considered for commercial and light industry would have an impact in the future.

The report added: “The consideration of acceptability of noise generation (in particular) within an industrial area, compared to a location adjacent to housing may be fundamental in determining the acceptability of future industrial proposals.

“It is considered that residential development may therefore compromise the growth and development of the already established business/industrial area.”

The application was refused by councillors on Thursday, June 23.