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Groceries at risk: Horley residents urged to back Lidl’s new store proposal

Lidl GB has confirmed that Horley could end up without a Lidl in the future if its planning application for a new store is not approved. The discounter is therefore calling on households across Horley to ensure that their views are heard on the new store proposals ahead of the Planning Committee next month.

The discounter’s existing store on Victoria Road, which is almost 25 years old, is no longer fit for purpose and does not meet the needs of its ever-growing customer base. The continued trading of the store therefore cannot be guaranteed, putting its future in serious doubt. As a result, the discounter submitted a planning application earlier in the year to relocate its Horley store to Brighton Road, after a five-year search for a suitable site.  

With almost double the sales area of the current store, the proposals for a new modern supermarket would provide much needed capacity to serve the discounter’s growing customer base and ensure that locals have access to good quality food at best value prices. The new store would also feature enhanced facilities that are currently missing from the existing store, including dedicated customer toilets and baby changing, solar panels on the roof providing sustainable power to the store, a larger carpark with more disabled and parent and child bays along with electric vehicle charging spaces.

Without a local Lidl store, residents would have the choice of just three supermarkets to shop at in the town including Waitrose which, in recent independent analysis, came out £25 more expensive for a basket of grocery essentials – that would mean Horley households having to spend around £1,300 more on their groceries a year.

Regional Property Director, Oliver McGuinness commented: “We first opened our store on Victoria Road almost 25 years ago and we’re incredibly proud to be part of the community. However, as we continue to support more and more customers looking to keep the cost of their groceries down, our Horley store is simply no longer fit for purpose and has no future potential. For five long years we were searching for a suitable location that would enable us to relocate and guarantee our continued presence in the town and were thrilled to secure the site on Brighton Road last year. At just 300m down the road, it would ensure that residents continue to have convenient access to Lidl’s high quality and best value produce. Whilst our priority will always be to continue serving our customers, it is not feasible to continue operations in the current building which was not designed to accommodate so many shoppers or hold our full range of products. If the plans are not approved, the continued trading of the existing Lidl store in Horley unfortunately cannot be guaranteed. That is why it is vital that residents have their say now and show their support to our proposals by contacting planning officers with their comments.”

Households in Horley will shortly receive a leaflet from Lidl through the post which will provide more information about the proposed relocation, giving residents the opportunity to have their say by sending their comments back to Lidl. This will then be shared with the council and local Councillors.

For nearly 30 years, Lidl’s unparalleled quality-value combination has been winning customers over from across the country and in 2022 alone, 1.4 million customers switched to the discounter from competitors. The discounter continues to experience record growth, with it recently being named the UK’s fastest growing supermarket and sees no ceiling on its ambition or growth potential.

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