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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Big ‘yes’ to Lidl store plan

Plans to build a new supermarket in Maryport have been largely welcomed by townsfolk.

Lidl revealed a proposal to build its largest UK store at Milltoft, off Curzon Street.

Two drop-in sessions were held on Monday and Tuesday at the town’s Wave Centre to allow people to see the proposals for the 2,500-square-metre store.

The prevailing opinion from the sessions was that the store would be positive for the town.

Edna Holliday, 68, of Ewanrigg Road, Maryport, said: “I’m glad it’s coming. People who haven’t got a car have to use a bus to go to Workington and they have to carry heavy bags. It will be good for keeping shoppers in the town.”

James Hayhurst, 86, of Crosby, is a fan of Lidl and regularly travels to the nearest store in Wigton to do his shopping.

He said: “Instead of a 32-mile trip, it will just be four miles. It will be much more convenient for me. This is ideal and should have been done years ago.”

The Milltoft land is owned by Allerdale council which would sell it to Lidl as part of a deal being managed by Allerdale Investment Partnership.

The initiative was established to enable the council to dispose of surplus assets and deliver development opportunities.

It is hoped the development would create 30 direct jobs, together with construction employment.

A planning application will be submitted to Allerdale council by the partnership next month following community consultation.

If permission is granted, it is hoped that building work will start in spring next year.

As part of the consultation, around 7,000 leaflets have been sent to households and businesses with information about the proposals.

There was also a questionnaire attached to the leaflets asking whether people were in favour of the plans.

Amanda Brocklehurst, associate director at Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners in Newcastle, planning consultants for the scheme, said they had received 550 responses, of which 98 per cent were in favour.

She added: “The questionnaire showed an overwhelming public support for the proposals, which has been reflected at the drop-in sessions.”

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