Concern over plans for area of staff parking at Rushden’s new Lidl store

A protest about the original plans for a Lidl store in Newton Road, Rushden, was held last year
A protest about the original plans for a Lidl store in Newton Road, Rushden, was held last year

Objections have been raised over plans for an area of staff parking at the new Lidl store being built in Rushden.

Construction started several months ago on the new supermarket in Newton Road, Rushden, but Lidl is now looking to secure planning permission for staff parking with six spaces on an area which had originally been identified for landscaping.

Access to the proposed car park would be via Wheatcroft Gardens, a residential cul-de-sac behind the store.

The staff parking area would be separate to the car park for customers and would include security gates at the access point.

The proposal will be discussed by East Northamptonshire Council’s planning management committee next week, but has attracted opposition.

Eight households have objected to the plans, with their concerns including parking issues in Wheatcroft Gardens, congestion, pollution, noise and disturbance for residents and that staff parking could be allocated in the main car park.

Rushden Town Council has said it also objects strongly to the plans.

Its reasons for this include that Wheatcroft Gardens is a quiet cul-de-sac and should remain so, it will create a precedent for shoppers to use this access and lead to parking issues and nuisance for residents, and that any additional parking should be accessed from the Lidl site and not a narrow residential street.

The original application for a Lidl store on the former recycling centre and council depot site also attracted opposition from people living in the area.

Their concerns at the time included an increase in traffic in the area, noise and the effect on nearby businesses.

Despite objections to the latest application, planning officers have recommended the plans are approved.

The report, due to be discussed by councillors at 7pm on Wednesday, September 2, at the council offices in Thrapston, states: “Whilst there has not been any convincing evidence submitted to demonstrate a compelling need for the proposed parking area, this alone is not considered a sustainable reason for refusal.”