SUPERMARKET giant Lidl’s plans to demolish Hereford’s Three Counties Hotel have been branded ‘stupid’ in an objection made to Herefordshire Council.

Lidl has asked Herefordshire Council if it can demolish the Three Counties Hotel and build a new supermarket with access, parking, servicing, drainage and landscaping.

It also wants outline planning permission for a drive-thru unit with associated internal access and circulation - meaning, if approved, a full planning application would need to be submitted.

Since the budget supermarkets submission more objections have filled Herefordshire Council’s planning page every day, as those living in the area worry for the rising traffic and disruption the new supermarket could bring to Belmont.

Like many of her fellow objectors, Beverly Smith is concerned it will have on the flow of traffic and extra congestion drivers using Belmont Road already face.

Tesco, Asda, and McDonald’s already cause the build-up of traffic and adding Lidl into the road is not viable, she said.

“As a result of this people accessing the city via Belmont Road will be further discouraged from using the city for shopping.”

Ms Smith lives by Tesco and believes a new Lidl supermarket will not improve the area and that locals will face more noise.

“This is not the place for a supermarket so close to people’s homes and will not improve their quality of life,” she said.

“We need more community-based projects to improve people’s health and well-being not another supermarket.

“Have the council learnt nothing from recent events during the pandemic.

“We strongly disagree with the proposal and urge the council to reconsider and identify a much more appropriate site.”

Lidl also wants to make changes to Belmont Road to help some 2,500 cars visit the proposed supermarket every day.

Transport consultants said there were "no reasons" why Herefordshire Council should turn down plans based on traffic concerns.

Plans submitted to Herefordshire Council show the supermarket's intention for a right-turn lane so vehicles could wait to turn into the supermarket and not block Belmont Road – similar to the junction at McDonald's.

But resident Pat Mellor said in her objection: “Even if the traffic light system was installed it would not help due to the sheer volume of traffic that has to use this road especially at peak travelling times.

“Until the road infrastructure is drastically improved, I object to this application.”

In an application form submitted to Herefordshire Council, Lidl said the planned new supermarket would employ 40 people on a full-time basis.

The planned supermarket would be open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

In an objection to Herefordshire Council, Jemma Willis said: “Hereford already has enough supermarkets; I personally don’t think this is the right location for another.”

And Christopher Tomlinson raised concerns over the number of hotels in Herefordshire.

“I cannot think of an idea more stupid,” he said.

“We only have two hotels in Hereford that offer the sort of facilities the Three Counties Hotel does.

“If Hereford wishes to attract tourists it must provide the best facilities.”