Lidl has been accused of trying to destroy a town ‘stage by stage’ as it successfully applied to double the size of its Ossett car park.
Speaking at Wakefield Council’s planning committee meeting on Wednesday, Coun Nick Farmer launched an attack on the supermarket giant for their application to increase the footprint of their store on Kingsway.
The company upset residents last year when they applied to knock down four houses to extend their car park by 47 spaces.
Despite more than 280 names being collected on a petition, the application was passed.
Now, instead, of 47 extra spaces, the extension plans are for 77 spaces and to relocate the access point to the west end of the site, closer to residential properties.
Nine letters of objection were submitted, many questioning the need for extra parking and the safety of the proposed entrance.
Planning committee member and Ossett ward councillor, Angela Taylor said she shopped at the store almost every day and was unhappy with the entrance being altered, saying: “It’s an accident waiting to happen, the current entrance works perfectly well.”
But fellow Ossett ward councillor Nick Farmer, who is not on the planning committee, felt the plans were simply a precursor for Lidl’s intention to eventually extend the store.
He said: “There’s absolutely no need for it, they are progressively destroying my town.
“The residents have had enough and I have had enough of Lidl coming in and doing what they want, we all know they want to extend the store. There’s no respect for anybody at all, they are going to build a superstore, they are doing what they want stage by stage and it needs stopping.”
But representatives of Lidl would not be drawn on future plans with one telling the meeting: “It’s not on the cards at the moment, but that’s not to say we won’t want to do it in a few years’ time.
“At the moment it’s not our intention.”
Despite the concerns, seven of the 12 planning committee members voted in favour of the proposals, therefore granting planning permission.