lidl hit by subsidence

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A SUPERSTORE in Stowmarket has applied for planning permission to demolish and rebuild part of the building after subsidence made it ‘structurally unstable and unsafe’.

A temporary shop at the Lidl supermarket site on Bury Road was set up on April 7 to serve customers while the work, which is hoped to be completed in September, is finished.

A design and access statement submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council prepared by Poole and Pattle Chartered Architects says that ‘the rear section of the store and adjacent car park has been subject to ground subsidence, with visible cracks appearing in the floor slab and external walls’.

A flood risk assessment on the site reads: “The proposed development includes the demolition and reconstruction of the structurally unstable and unsafe part of the building.

“During the relatively short reconstruction period, it is proposed to continue trading via a small temporary store located on a raised platform in the existing parking area.”

An area of 520 square metres is be torn down and rebuilt in the same footprint as the previous store.

The proposal comments that there will be no change in the use of the site and that the temporary store will be taken down as soon as work is completed.

A spokeswoman for Lidl confirmed the company expects the main store to reopen at the end of the summer.

She said: “The Lidl Stowmarket store located on Bury Road is currently closed and a full refurbishment of the store in being undertaken.

“The new-look store will include a re-decorated and refurbished interior, a new and more efficient lighting system as well as updated refrigeration.

“Lidl will be operating out of a temporary structure adjacent to the store until refurbishment works are completed.

“We expect the store to reopen at the end of the summer this year.

“All the improvements should make for a greatly enhanced shopping experience for our customers.”

Businesses either side of the Lidl superstore say that they have not had any problems with subsidence but do not have buildings of that scale on their properties.

A decision on the application is due by August 17.