Lidl unveils plans for third Exeter store – with Pinhoe supermarket proposed

Exeter could be set to get its THIRD Lidl. The discount supermarket chain already has stores in Alphington and in Burnthouse Lane, but plans for a store to the East of the city have been revealed today.

It follows long circulating rumours that the German company had been looking for a store in the Pinhoe area of Exeter, and a planning application has been submitted that would see the discount supermarket open a new store in Pinbrook Road, just metres away from where there is already an Aldi and a Sainsbury’s.

Lidl have said that the application site as ideally suited to meet its requirement for a new discount store to better serve the local community and if approved, they will begin work at the earliest opportunity.

A statement with the planning application says: “Lidl regards the application site as ideally suited to meet its requirement for a new discount store to better serve the local community. Given Lidl’s commitment to invest in Pinhoe the proposed development will, if consented, be constructed at the earliest opportunity and will add to the local area’s retail offering.”

The supermarket would be built on the site is a cleared brownfield site, and an employment land appraisal with the application provides analysis undertaken by Vickery Holman Property Consultants which concludes that the redevelopment of the site for an office development would not provide a financially attractive return making it unviable for a developer.

It adds: “Given the employment land supply available within Exeter and the surrounding area, the loss of the employment space which is not fit for purpose, would not cause undue harm to business and employment opportunities within the City.

“It has been demonstrated that new industrial-type employment business is more attracted to locations such as Sowton and Marsh Barton rather than the Pinhoe Area. This is also demonstrated by the previous tenants who have relocated from Pinbrook Court.

“As such, the redevelopment of the site for an alternative use, making efficient use of an existing brownfield site is the only viable alternative. The development of a supermarket would generate new jobs and provide increased choice and competition at what is already an established retail destination. The Lidl foodstore would therefore create economic benefits for the area and the city as a whole.”

If approved, access to the site would be via Venny Bridge via a new priority junction and the current access road to the site will be improved to meet current highways standards. There would be 113 car parking spaces provided in a free customer car park

A statement added: “The site is accessible via sustainable modes of travel with infrastructure to facilitate pedestrian and cycle movements between the site and local residential areas. A dedicated pedestrian access will be provided directly from the footway on the B3181 (Pinhoe Rd) and convenient access to public transport services is provided in the form of bus stops located either side of the B3181 (Pinhoe Rd) in both directions, within an appropriate 200m walk of the site.”

The proposed access/egress to the site will be from Venny Bridge via a new priority junction arrangement for use by customers, staff and delivery vehicles (this is located where the existing access/egress to the site is).
Before the site’s demolition, Pinbrook Court comprised a former builder’s yard and associated offices, former abattoir and meat packing facility.

The buildings were constructed in the 1950’s and were considered to be obsolete and not suitable for modern business practice

Lidl are proposing to redevelop the cleared site and erect a new food retail store with associated car parking.

Exeter City Council planners will determine the fate of the application at a later date.

Lidl, founded in Germany in the 1930s, commenced trading in the UK in 1994 and now operates over 760 stores nationwide, including stores in Alphington and Wonford.

They also opened their huge regional distribution centre just outside Exeter on the old A30 in 2017.

Lidl site

Site layout.

Exeter Lidl

Aerial view of the site.

Developers emphasise sustainability of proposed Exeter retail park