Budget supermarket gains permission to open its eighth store in Wigan

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Proposals to transform a derelict site by building a budget supermarket have been given the green light.

Planning permission has been granted by Wigan Council for a new Lidl store on the former gas works site on Princess Road in Ashton.

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The land, which is on the junction with York Street, had been vacant for around 40 years, since the gas depot was demolished.

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Lidl will be built on the former gas works site on Princess Road, AshtonLidl will be built on the former gas works site on Princess Road, Ashton
Lidl will be built on the former gas works site on Princess Road, Ashton

But it will now become a hive of activity as the home of the chain’s eighth supermarket in the borough.

The new Lidl shop will be a single-storey building with a sales area, warehouse delivery area, freezer room, bakery, manager’s office, staff welfare facilities and customer toilets.

The car park will have space for 77 vehicles, including those driven by people with disabilities, parents with children, and electric vehicle users.

Lidl will employ 40 full-time equivalent staff and the store will open from 7am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 5pm on Sundays.

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A planning statement submitted with the application states: “The nature of the Lidl business model results in the store performing a predominantly ‘top

up’ shopping role. Discount stores such as Lidl act as complementary retailers to conventional food shopping.

"The proposal will provide increased competition and consumer choice and create additional local jobs, in addition to improving convenience shopping in Ashton-in-Makerfield.”

While the scheme has been welcomed by some people in Ashton, others fear increased traffic in the area.

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One letter of objection raised concerns about a traffic study, stating: “If this development goes ahead it will create chaos on Princess Road, with probable knock-on effect to York Street, Gerard Street and Wigan Road.”

The firm is in the process of opening 60 new supermarkets across the UK, as it aims to have 1,000 stores by 2023.

The new Ashton store could be open within months.

Ashton councillor Danny Fletcher said: “Lidl are aiming to have the store up and running by Christmas.

"Speaking to Lidl reps over the past couple of months, commitments have been made to help fund much-needed improvements to some of our kids’ parks in Ashton.”

Aldi is also looking to open in the area, with the former Arnold Clark site in Bryn being considered as a location.