Discount chain eyes former showroom site in St Neots

St Neots.

St Neots. - Credit: Archant

It may already have a store in the centre of St Neots, but Lidl is hoping to grab a larger share of the area’s grocery spend through plans to build a second ­supermarket at Eaton Socon – close to a site being eyed by its rivals.

The discount chain has submitted plans to Huntingdonshire District Council to demolish a former St Neots Motor Company ­showroom and some houses in Great North Road, and build a 2,151sq m store with parking for 68 cars.

Aldi has already declared its interest in developing an 18,000sqft store in Great North Road as part of a development that could also involve Pets At Home and B&M Bargains.

Lidl has a supermarket in St Neots town centre, in Cambridge Road, and has permission to build in Huntingdon. But its agents Jones Lang LaSalle believe that, as Cambridgeshire’s ­population is growing and with more housing developments in the pipeline, there is room for another Lidl.

The application adds that, if Lidl gets planning permission, it expects to create 40 jobs and have a annual turnover of about £4.6million. And as a discount supermarket, Lidl sees its stores as being complementary to the larger supermarket chains, such as Tesco, and to town centre retailers.

The plans, which are for a site­ ­opposite the Brewers Fayre pub, will be looked at by HDC later this year. Comments about the application can be made on HDC’s website but there will not be a public consultation because, according to the agents, of the “small nature of the scheme and the fact that there is an existing Lidl in St Neots”.