ASDA has heavily criticised plans by rival supermarket Lidl to demolish Hereford's Three Counties Hotel to make way for a new shop.

Budget supermarket Lidl has asked Herefordshire Council if it can bulldoze the Three Counties Hotel in Belmont and replace it with a new shop, as well as get outline planning permission for a drive-thru coffee shop.

But there has been fierce resistance from locals, with dozens of objections citing reasons from traffic woes on the major road to the fact Hereford doesn't need another supermarket, with Tesco and Asda already nearby.

If plans are given the go-ahead by the council, the hotel would be demolished and replaced with a Lidl, with a right-turn lane added to Belmont Road to deal with around 2,500 two-way car trips every day.


Plans from Lidl also show Belmont Road’s footpaths will be widened and cycle paths will be added.

But now Asda, which has a big supermarket further down Belmont Road near Greyfriars Bridge, has hit out at Lidl's plans.

Jigsaw Planning's director Katherine Sneeden, acting on behalf of Asda, said the hotel should not be demolished as it's currently a trading business.

She said it was clear from the hotel's website that it offers facilities for use by the local community through the bar and restaurant as well as hosting weddings and conferences.

This, she said, was against planning policy if the hotel was closed to make way for Lidl.

"This is also confirmed by some of the representations to the application which confirm local residents' opposition to the loss of the local facility," she added.


She also said that Lidl relies heavily in the application that it is a "deep discounter", but she argued this was no longer the case.

The shop, she said, would be in direct competition with other shops and urged planners to see the bigger picture.

"In terms of retail impact, the applicant suggests that Lidl's trading philosophies differs from a traditional supermarket by selling from a limited core range (compared to other supermarkets) of mainly exclusive own labels," she said.


"However, whilst this may have been the original philosophy of the 'deep discounter' it is evident that there has been a slow but steady change towards that of a traditional supermarket when considering store size, ranges on offer, proportion of comparison goods, and labelled goods.

"This would be reflective in the turnover being more akin to that of other foodstore operators.

"The applicant has overstated the difference between the proposed operator and the existing supermarkets in the area.

"The proposed will compete with the town centre stores and therefore the Council must set aside the 'discounter' case which the applicant relies so heavily on."

In a third reason for Asda's objection, she said loss of trees was also unacceptable.