Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lidl - bribing the public

We had spies at last week's Lidl 'Open Day', and they brought back all kinds of goodies - though not products produced by Lidl.

We hear that Lidl put on a large spread, but more important than that, they were asking people to write to them to support a future planning application. Whilst we can't think why anyone in their right mind would want to do so, they obviously thought it might work and this flier was handed to all visitors (we've been careful to obscure the relevant address in case any morons who like supermarkets read this blog). Of course, this kind of tactic is nothing new in this area - JD Williams employed similar methods by 'asking' (more like threatening!) their employees on Rossington Park to write in support of a planning application last year (HPBC approved it, natch).

Lidl propose to provide 72 car parking spaces, but lord only knows what disruption will be caused to the area due to an inevitable traffic increases - there's no mention of this in their leaflet.

You can view the brochure they were handing out here and here. But we thought we'd publish the Q&A section, which are (unsurprisingly) overwhelmingly positive and seemingly poorly translated from a standard German text, with attendant poor grammar. Our comments are underneath in bold:

Q - Why have you chosen this location?

A - Lidl have chosen this location as it primarily serves as a catchment of Hadfield, Gamesley and Hollingworth and these areas currently have a limited offer for convenience goods.

There is a 7-11 store in Hollingworth, and a similar store in Gamesley. There are 2 minimarts in Hadfield. So it's not needed on that front.

Q - Will the store undermine Glossop Town Centre?

A - No, the small scale of the development will have little or no impact on Glossop Town Centre. A full Retail Impact Assessment is provided with our application. It should also be noted that Lidl do not operate in-store Bakeries, Delis, Butchers, Fish counters, Dry cleaning, Newsagents and therefore complement rather than compete with local small businesses.

One wonders what use the store is to anyone if it does not provide those facilities, and what need there is for it if it is a 'catchment of Hadfield, Gamesley and Hollingworth'? I suppose if you really want pumpernickel and really can't face going to Aldi, it might come in handy. Then again, Lidl and Aldi are currently a zeitgeist thing for the Bourgeoisie who like 'slumming it' as this recent article in the Guardian shows.

Q - How will the store look?

A - The site, as is currently stands, clearly is in need of redevelopment. Lidl design their buildings to complement their surroundings and as such the proposal is for a traditional building in keeping with the surrounding area.

Personally, I'd rather have an empty car garage that generates no traffic than this plan. The logic here seems to be 'if there's spare Brownfield land, it must follow that something new is created on it'. And it's not hard for it to be 'inkeeping with the surrounding area', when that means a small industrial estate, a car dealer and Europe's largest caravan showroom!

If you want to object - in advance - to this proposal, then you could always write to that paragon of virtue Adrian Fisher, the Director of Planning (Disasters) at Der Bunker, High Peak Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 8AF.

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