Lidl defends garage demolition plan

PUBLISHED: 12:23 12 November 2008 | UPDATED: 22:36 15 June 2010

LIDL has gone on the offensive over comments made by town councillors about the supermarket chain's proposed Honiton store.

LIDL has gone on the offensive over comments made by town councillors about the supermarket chain's proposed Honiton store.Development executive James Mitchell wants to speak to councillors - after they expressed concerns about the loss of Heathpark Service Station and criticised the design of Lidl's proposed new building on the site.But, after listening to Mr Mitchell's points in a letter, members of Honiton Town Council's planning committee said there was no need for a meeting with him - their comments had already been sent to East Devon District Council.Mr Mitchell says Lidl is willing to discuss design options. He wrote: "The proposed Lidl store would sit adjacent to the glass, render and cladding of the Vauhall Eden dealership and diagonally opposite the grey-cladded Homebase, Argos and former Richley's units."It was our intention that the proposed Lidl store complements these buildings already within the local environment. However, we obviously wish to produce the best scheme possible and, if a revised design is desired, we would certainly be willing to discuss other options."Seventy per cent of fuel sales at Heathpark Service Station relate to heavy goods vehicles, Lidl has told Honiton Town Council."These HGV vehicles do not generally provide services for Honiton, but rather take the opportunity to divert their route from the A30 to fill up with diesel," Mr Mitchell claimed in his letter."If the BP filling station is no longer in operation, the HGVs would simply fill up at either Exeter or Ilminster services instead," he added.Lidl believes the loss of the BP garage could ease traffic congestion in Honiton, particularly at the Turks Head junction.Mr Mitchell states: "The real impact of the closure of the BP filling station would be that a considerable amount of HGV traffic would be removed from the Honiton road network. There would, therefore, be an immediate benefit to residents of Honiton."The supermarket firm points out that other communities, including Sidmouth and Seaton, survive with just one petrol station.But town councillors say those towns are not on a major trunk road, such as the A30.RICHARD Harris, owner of Honiton Garage and the Jet filling station at Turks Head, has told Lidl his business could absorb the 30 per cent of domestic sales currently enjoyed by the BP garage at Heathpark.Mr Mitchell told Honiton Town Council : "I have included a letter from Richard Harris, indicating his ability to absorb the domestic sales currently being provided at the BP garage.

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