Council agrees plans to demolish Barking Lidl for two-storey store

The Lidl store in Ripple Road, Barking

The Lidl store in Ripple Road, Barking - Credit: Archant

A busy town centre supermarket is set to be demolished and replaced with a two-storey store, after councillors voted against recommendations last night.

Plans to build a new 2,622sq m Lidl on the site of the current Ripple Road store in Barking were agreed at a Development Control Board meeting by a vote of 10 to five.

An undercroft and surface level 68-space car park will be built with customer access to the first-floor shopping level via a travelator, increasing the store by 177sq m.

Barking and Dagenham Council officers had advised councillors to reject the proposals on the grounds they “did not maximise the development potential of the site”, insisting homes should be included in any plans for the site.

“There is a housing crisis in London and we’ve got to look to the future,” said the borough’s development management manager Dave Mansfield .

“When we have a chance to recycle brownfield land, we have to make it work harder.”

Although there was ambiguity on just how many homes could potentially be built on top of the store, with figures ranging from 10 to 150, a spokesman for the German discount retailers insisted residential development was out of the question.

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And Cllr John White believes the site – a traffic island at the junction of St Pauls Road – would not be suitable for homes anyway.

“It’s the most inappropriate place for people to live,” he said.

“They will have traffic going around and around at night, not to mention the delivery drivers.”

A total of 247 neighbouring occupiers were consulted in November while the three-week consultation period expired a month later – neither drew any objections.

Lidl UK’s regional head of property Olu Johnson said: “We could not be more delighted to have received planning permission, and look forward to getting started on construction.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their continued support, and very much look forward to opening our doors and offering our fresh, quality, great value products in the not too distant future.”

What do you think of the plans? Email or call 0208 477 3824.