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New Lidl store gets go ahead in Newmarket Road, Cambridge

A new Lidl supermarket has got the go ahead to open in Cambridge with the creation of 40 new jobs, but some are concerned the new shop will cause congestion in an already busy part of the city.

Plans for a new budget supermarket in Newmarket Road in Cambridge have been approved by Cambridge City Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (February 6).

Lidl wants to open on Newmarket Road, Cambridge (7041799)
Lidl wants to open on Newmarket Road, Cambridge (7041799)

The plans will see the existing Homebase store split in two, with the new Lidl being slotted between the remaining Homebase and the neighbouring Dunelm furniture shop.

Cllr Carla McQueen said the shop would be “very helpful” for people visiting other shops in the area, and would mean they could also do their food shopping while visiting Homebase or Halfords.

“I can’t see what’s not to love,” Cllr McQueen said.

Cllr Dave Baigent said having a food supermarket in the area seemed “sensible” and that shoppers coup “pop in” while visiting the area for other reasons. He said this would mean the shop would not add significant traffic to the area.

Cllr John Hipkin, however, expressed his disbelief at this, saying he thought a new Lidl on the site would only encourage more people to drive to the area specifically to shop there.

Cllr Hipkin said a new Lidl, along with a new Aldi, which is planned to replace DIY store Wickes on the other side of Newmarket Road, would have a “significant impact” on traffic.

“I must be living on a different planet from some of my colleagues,” said Cllr Hipkin. “I can’t accept it will have no impact on the junctions and I can’t accept a shop like Lidl will be incidental.

“People will come specifically for Lidl. It is a total shopping experience, and a discreet shopping experience and I am quite concerned that the combination of Lidl on one side of the road and Aldi on the other will have a significant impact on traffic.”

Cllr Hipkin, however, expressed his admiration for Lidl and Aldi, saying the budget supermarkets had “done more than any major political party” to improve the lives of working families in the UK by providing cheaper goods.

It is understood Lidl is yet to formally commit to the building, but the committee understood the plans were “personal” to Lidl and that the application had been submitted by Standard Life with Lidl in mind.

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