Bath Voice News: protests over a planning application for a new supermarket

By Local Democracy Reporter John Wimperis: Supermarket bosses say the new shop, which could be built at the Eastern entrance to Bath next to Bath Rugby’s Lambridge Training Ground, would provide up to 40 new jobs and greater choice for residents.

Glen Stidever, regional head of property at Lidl GB, said: “This planning submission follows a detailed and sustained piece of proactive engagement with the community, local heritage and architectural stakeholders, as well as local businesses.

“We are grateful for the significant number of responses we have received for this site and strongly believe our planning application also carefully addresses considerations including biodiversity, heritage, highways and local businesses.”

The store, designed by Bath architects Mitchell Ely Gould, has been designed with the intention of increasing biodiversity on the site by more than 40%, with tree and hedge planting and a green roof.

But building on the greenfield site has been controversial.

At a consultation event on the plans at Bath Rugby’s Lambridge Training Ground last month, protestors turned up with a banner reading: “Save Bath Wildlife Meadow.”

Green councillor for Lambridge on Bath and North East Somerset Council Joanna Wright, who was with the protest, said: “At the end of the day there should be no supermarket, its not anti-Lidl. […] This is a green entrance to the city that the Georgians put in place hundreds of years ago.”

She added: “We should not be building on it. We should be protecting it.”

Bath Rugby have been supportive of the plans. Club president Danny Sacco said: “This development provides a once in a generation chance to secure the long-term future of the amateur club at Lambridge, our historical home.

“It will enable us to make much needed upgrades to our facilities and ensure that we continue to invest in the next generation of junior, girls and ladies rugby players in the city. The relationships between the amateur and professional clubs has never been stronger.”

The planning application will be visible on the Bath and North East Somerset Council planning portal once it has been validated by the council.

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The journalists are funded by the BBC as part of its latest Charter commitment, but are employed by regional news organisations. A total of 165 reporters are allocated to news organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland including Bath Voice. These organisations range from television and radio stations to online media companies and established regional newspaper groups. Local Democracy Reporters cover top-tier local authorities, second-tier local authorities and other public service organisations.

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