This post was first published by My London on 14/11/2019.
Lidl explains why it never started building a new South Croydon supermarket
The growing supermarket chain also isn’t giving up the fight on plans for the Hamsey Green and Warlingham border
For years a huge mound of rubble has covered the site on Brighton Road where by now it was hoped a Lidl supermarket would be open and there would be dozens of new homes in South Croydon.
The discount supermarket chain was first given permission to build a store and dozens of homes on the site of a car showroom and multi-storey car park next to the Honda garage back in 2015.
Initially the plan was to build 42 homes but a year later another planning application went in reducing this to 39 flats – made up of 24 two bedroom, 10 one bedroom and 5 three bedroom homes – plus a car park with 119 spaces.
Included in the plan was for residents to be given direct access to South Croydon Recreation Ground from the back of the site.
Both proposals were approved by Croydon Council and in 2017 work got underway to demolish the buildings and clear the large site.
At the time Lidl released an artist’s impression of what the supermarket would look like and said “construction will begin later [in the] year”, but two years on there has never been any sign of building work getting underway.
So what is going on?
A Lidl spokesman told MyLondon the “proposals for the site are currently under review” and added they are “working through some minor changes” to the plans.
In response a spokesman for the council said it “remains keen to see a mix of retail and homes on the site and looks forward to hearing from Lidl”.
When asked if Lidl will have to submit a fresh planning application if it comes forward with any changes, the spokesman added it would “depend on what the changes to the proposals are”.
If the supermarket is ever built it will be the seventh Lidl in Croydon, with many more just over the border.
Lidl isn’t giving up the fight in Hamsey Green either
Lidl has also not given up on controversial plans to build a supermarket nearby in Hamsey Green.
The former site of the Good Companions Pub, at the junction of Limpsfield Road and Tithepit Shaw Lane, has long been earmarked for a Lidl store since the pub closed in 2012.
However, plans in the past were met with strong opposition from residents due to road safety fears being so close to Warlingham School and Hamsey Green Primary as well as concerns about congestion in the area.
To this day the site still has blue hoardings up around it with Lidl branding and artist impressions on and when asked about any future plans, the Lidl spokesman again said “we are currently reviewing our proposals for the site and look forward to updating local communities, as soon as we’re in a position to do so”.