A plan to knock down Hereford’s Three Counties Hotel and replace it with a Lidl supermarket will be decided on next week. And the recommendation is to approve it.

The discount retailer applied last June for planning permission for the new store. An earlier application it made for a slightly larger outlet was made in 2022 but later withdrawn after drawing over 200 objections.

With 60 bedrooms in the main building and a further 32 in a later annex, the hotel was built in 1979 but closed to guests a year ago.


For the last year has housed asylum seekers at the behest of the Home Office, but the last of these are now believed to have left.

Lidl’s plan involves a new junction with the main A465 Belmont Road in the southwest of the city, where a new pedestrian island would be created and pavements widened.

The supermarket would open between 8am and 10pm Mondays to Saturdays, and between 10am and 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

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There have been 41 objections to the current application, with many claiming that a new supermarket would be unnecessary, harmful to the area and its shops, and that the site should be used for housing or a community facility instead.

But there have also been ten public submissions backing the plan, as bringing affordable shopping to the area and replacing a run-down and underused building.

Recommending councillors approve the proposal, planning officer Heather Carlisle says in her report that it “would make efficient use of a previously developed site and is accessible by a choice of means of transport”.


An economic impact assessment has found the plan would not significantly harm Hereford’s centre and its “vitality and viability”.

It would create local jobs, would not impact on the highway, and is “acceptable in all other technical aspects”, she said.

But she has proposed 35 conditions with the permission, covering everything from drainage to cycle parking to delivery hours – which would be restricted to the store’s opening hours.

The council’s planning committee will decide on the bid at its Plough Lane office at 10am on Wednesday March 13, which the public can attend.