Lidl’s plan to replace Hereford’s Three Counties Hotel with a new supermarket has drawn strong objections from other food retailers.

Waitrose’s representative claimed Lidl’s figures on the impact of its proposal were “out of date”, and said the plan could “significantly undermine recent moves to diversify and enhance central Hereford’s retail and commercial leisure offer”.

If permitted, the store “will draw trade away from the city centre and its anchor foodstores at a time when its wider vitality and viability is compromised, and where the anchor foodstores themselves are under-performing”, it said.

A study by Nexus Planning earlier this year found that all the city centre’s food retailers, including Waitrose at the Old Market which opened in 2014, are already “under-trading, in most cases quite significantly, against company average levels”.


Herefordshire Council’s own retail consultant, JWPlanning, agreed that the effect of the proposed Lidl store, along with the Food Warehouse store off Holmer Road which opened earlier this year, “is likely to erode the role of convenience trading in the city centre and risk further city centre foodstore closures”.

Tesco said the 75-page analysis submitted by Lidl’s agent CarneySweeney, which considered alternative locations for the store, was “not fit for purpose” for numerous reasons, as was its assessment of the proposal’s impact on other stores.

“No evidence has been provided to demonstrate why [the hotel] is no longer required, viable or fit for purpose,” it added.

The application shows the store would have a drive-through coffee shop and parking for 182 cars, which would gain access off the A465 Belmont Road.

Asda’s objection focussed on the proposed access, claiming that “insufficient information has been submitted to allow the council to arrive at a sound decision on the impact of the development proposals”.

The application has also drawn over 200 objections locally, along with 16 letters of support.

Herefordshire Council says it intends to decide on the bid before Christmas.

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