Supermarket giant aims to relocate its store in Wishaw

A supermarket giant could be set to relocate its store in Wishaw if plans are given the go ahead.

North Lanarkshire Council planners have given the green light for Lidl to build a new shop on the site of the former Heathery Works, located to the north-west of the roundabout at Heathery Road and Glasgow Road.

Lidl presently has a store in Wishaw town centre.

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The final decision will rest with the council’s planning committee, which will meet next Friday, April 22.

In a report, council planners state: “In respect to retail impact and development strategy, the adopted local plan allows the opportunity to consider out-of-centre retail development, where impacts would remain within acceptable levels and an appropriate approach is used in terms of site selection.

“There isn’t a specific requirement for additional retail flood space within this area. However, it has been adequately demonstrated that the relocated and expanded Lidl store can be supported with only limited impacts on the town center and wider network of retail centres.

“Furthermore, the council has a vision for Wishaw town center which would ultimately be to replace the existing site with residential development.”

The company’s planning and retail statement states that at a typical Lidl store, around 40 full-time or part-time jobs would be created, which would be an increase on the existing store’s team.

There were three letters of objection to the plans, with issues raised including the development would cause chaos on the surrounding road network; concerns about pedestrian safety and previous accidents in the area.

However, the application has been associated with a Transportation Assessment and detailed consultation with the council’s Transportation Team.

This has resulted in various adaptations to the proposals, with several of the concerns raised also identified.

The report also identifies the impact the move would have on Wishaw town centre.

It states: “The applicant’s Retail Impact Assessment considers that of the total turnover of the proposed store (£9.99 million at 2027).

“This is predicted to divert £6.34 million of trade from Wishaw town center at 2027, which represents a 4.58 per cent impact.

“This means turnover of the town center is projected to fall from £138.61 million to £132.27 million.

“In terms of understanding impact, what this means is that while the town center would experience a predicted loss of trade, this would largely be focused on competing national multiple retailers who are more likely to be able to absorb impacts from increasing competition.

“The potential impact on other independent town center units is not considered likely to be significant, particularly as this is a relocation and fairly modest expansion of their current operation in Wishaw town centre.”

In 2020, North Lanarkshire Council published a draft regeneration strategy.

The document proposes a series of conceptual masterplans for the regeneration of Wishaw town centre.

The plans indicate that the existing store site can potentially be regenerated for residential uses.

Currently, timelines outline that an action plan for Wishaw will be adopted by 2023, with phase one of residential infill development taking place from 2022 onwards.

According to the planners report, in total, there are 252 units identified in Wishaw town center of which 32 are vacant.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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