Reader's Letter: Lidl attempts to rewrite planning conditions


Lidl Ltd store at Summerfield Dean Row; planning apps 17/3208M and the later revamped application 19/3096D.

There is considerable local & public concern with the current attitude and potential complete disregard for the planning approval conditions by the company.

The planning approval condition 11 clearly states that "Prior to the occupation of the approved retail store, measures to ensure that the exit only from the main car park is controlled shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The measures shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details prior to the occupation of the approved development. Reason: In the interests of highway safety."

At the moment no such control is available but is necessary to submit in good time before any opening for Local Planning approval in writing.

Similarly, approval condition 28 states "Prior to the first occupation of the development hereby approved a delivery management plan (including arrangements for limitations on the use of reversing alarms on the application site (particularly during early mornings / late evenings)) shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Reason: To safeguard the living conditions of the occupants of neighbouring properties."

However, we are seeing attempts by the company to alter these stipulations, as its latest planning submission, 19/3096D, states -


6. Lidl routinely schedule deliveries for those periods outside peak-trading hours or when the store is closed to customers completely. Logistically this makes their own operation much more efficient as staff are able to re-stock more easily when there are fewer customers in the store and deliveries arriving over night or during the early hours of the morning are less susceptible to delays on the network."

Planning permission was clearly granted on the basis of the Decision Notice pertaining to application 17/3208M which clearly stated that "deliveries shall only take place between 0700 and 2300 hours on any one day to safeguard the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers".

Lidl's latest renewed endeavour to thwart the above condition ,19/3096D, is a clear attempt to circumvent the original agreed planning requirements to deliver 24hours a day, every day of the year.

Lidl must abide by the delivery times set in Application for Approval 17/3208M.

No notification of the required "delivery management plan" that conforms to the delivery hours approved has thus far been received. The company clearly implies it will make deliveries solely at its convenience.

Rather than this application be left to the case officer to make his own decision, and in view of the lack of planning department approval supervision relating to this development, we suggest this application be referred to the appropriate planning board, not an individual planning officer.

The Decision Notice of 17/3208M clearly states planning conditions 11, 21 and 28 need to be satisfied prior to the first occupation of the development and planning conditions 13 needs to be satisfied prior to commencement of the development. Planning applications relating to these conditions have not been approved by the authority and therefore........

See the Decision Notice letter here.

Make your views known; go to the Cheshire East Council planning website, under planning app. 19/3096D to do so.

Manuel Golding on behlaf of Residents of Wilmslow

Reader's Letter


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Roger Bagguley
Saturday 13th July 2019 at 10:28 am
Who is boss here, Lidl or the Council? Delaying the openning of this store until everything is in place is a wonderful opportunity for the new administration at Cheshire East to demonstrate the culture has changed. Retrospective action to avoid enforcement needs to be a thing of the past.

An opportunity for WTC to show some muscle too.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 13th July 2019 at 12:54 pm
Absolutely correct Roger- far too often CEC have granted planning consent for one thing but at the end of construction major changes have occurred. Developers and their agents treat this as some sort of game; it is about time the “Planning” Department did what we are paying them for instead of rolling over.
Jean Berman
Sunday 14th July 2019 at 9:40 am
Cheshire East planning leave a lot to be desired. This monstrosity should never have been a.lowed so close to residential properties. Lidl have walked all over our planning department and are being given cart blanch to do what they like.
Paul Roue
Sunday 14th July 2019 at 6:16 pm
Wasn't it another Cheshire East Planning condition that the new Lidl wasn't allowed to open until the new big car park was ready

It's now three days from opening & the car park isn't anywhere near finished?

Do you think this means that the planning condition will be enforced and Lidl won't be allowed to open on 18 July?
Deleted Account
Sunday 14th July 2019 at 7:04 pm
I wonder if there are any other Cheshire East planning conditions that haven't been met in Lidl"s desire to up.

Does anyone know what the situation is ?
Ruth McNulty
Sunday 14th July 2019 at 10:26 pm
So why don't our new Councillors - one of whom is the Cabinet member for Planning and who lives in the Ward - actually address this issue?
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 16th July 2019 at 9:22 am
Ruth McNulty (Mrs Menlove) this planning application went through prior to the last election, when your husband Rod Menlove was a CE Councillor.

The site is in the Handforth Ward and I'm reasonably sure that Ward Councillor, Barry Burkhill (Handforth Ratepayers) Mayor of Cheshire East, will be on the case regarding any changes.

When was he appointed Cabinet Member for Planning? Perhaps you could confirm that he is not?
Manuel Golding
Tuesday 16th July 2019 at 11:58 am
To put Mrs Menlove's mind at rest, and as Mr Taylor quite correctly states above, the Lidl planning application was approved by the previous overwhelmingly Conservative council of which her husband was a major member. To attempt to lay any blame on the new Wilmslow RoW team of councillors over the current attempt by Lidl to rewrite conditions is a pitiful attempt at politicising & a self-degrading act by Mrs. Menlove
Nick Jones
Tuesday 16th July 2019 at 2:18 pm
Fortunately " Experience Counts " ( as some would say ! ).. when it comes to the 'new broom' sweeping out the 'old rubbish and detritus' left behind by others who failed their community.....
Ruth McNulty
Tuesday 16th July 2019 at 9:11 pm
Councillor Burkhill has represented the ward in which this application was made - so disliked and so disputed by residents - for the thick end of 40 years.
Planning applications by Lidl were approved - or not - by the northern planning committee of which my husband has never been a member.
Feeble and incoherent innuendo trying to lay the blame at the door of a former Councillor who has neither represented the ward nor has been in a position to influence planning decisions is pitiful.
Tilting at windmills rather than demonstrating constructive attempts to address the concerns of residents either on this specific case or on the general principle raised by the local residents is, in my view, unlikely to cut the mustard in the longer term.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 17th July 2019 at 10:38 am
To assist Ruth McNulty I would draw her attention to the following item on from February 2018 which points at the work done by independent Councillors (including Cllr Burkhill) to raise objections to the Lidl scheme.

More tellingly it suggests that (the then) WTC could have done more to oppose the plans but chose not to.
Jean Berman
Wednesday 17th July 2019 at 8:59 pm
So why is this store opening at 7-30 am tomorrow when the vast majority of the car park is still a building site. Wasn’t it supposed to be finished and ready before the store opened ?? Am I missing something here ?
John Harries
Thursday 18th July 2019 at 4:35 pm
Well that's certainly shown CEC and the electorate who is in charge - Lidl fully open for trading today when they announced they would be
- no parking exit control (understandably first day, inadequate parking etc. it was a predicatable bun fight - that shouldn't have been allowed anyway)
- additional car parking on old Lidl store footprint is still very much a building site, segregated from the new store by a perimeter of hoarding barriers
- presumably by the same logic they are ignoring the delivery limitations provide in the planning application approval
It is quite within the planning officers remit/powers (and should be his obligation) to prevent trading commencement until/unless the approval is met in full (to his satisfaction!!) so why isn't he doing his job (or has he seen/been given some good reason to relax the planning/amendments...).
Good opportunity to demonstrate things are changing but it looks like same ol' same ol' so he/they need to get the push don't they.
Deleted Account
Thursday 18th July 2019 at 8:06 pm
Hello John Harries,

You're right the parking was verging on the down right dangerous.

There were eager shoppers pathering around clutching carriers of heaven knows what, double parking, horns hooting away as if it was Milan, frustrated drivers doing three point turns and if that wasn't bad enough - a blind corner on Village Way caused by the Lidl metal hoardings that would put the Horse Shoe Pass to shame.

In short - mayhem & not a sign of Cheshire East Planning Enforcement either.

But a handful of local 'dignatories' did turn up to open the supermarket up so it's all okay then isn't it ?
Marcia McGrail
Thursday 18th July 2019 at 8:43 pm
O, dear! It makes one wonder who actually serves as the public servant of whom, doesn't it?
Riding roughshod over democractically elected public officials is just about as undemocratic as it gets. And not a peep out of said officials. Are they just trying to keep their heads down for long enough to get their hands on their gold plated pensions? Or (gasp!) is there some underhand hankypanky going on? [bated breath] who knows?
Pete Taylor
Thursday 18th July 2019 at 9:24 pm
Martin, could you tell us who those dignitaries were? This is ridiculous.
Deleted Account
Friday 19th July 2019 at 7:55 am
Pete Taylor,

You asked for the names of the dignitaries who attended the opening of the Summerfields Village Lidl on 18th July :

Cllr Ian Ferguson (Conservative) Wilmslow.

Cllr Frank McCarthy (Conservative) Vice Chair Wilmslow.

Cllr Julie Smith (Independent Group) Handforth.

Cllr Martin Watkins (Conservative) Chair Wilmslow.
Jon Williams
Friday 19th July 2019 at 10:03 am
plural noun: dignitaries
a person considered to be important because of high rank or office."

So no dignitaries attended then !
Richard Armstead
Friday 19th July 2019 at 10:09 am

Councillor Smith is not a member of the Independent Group - persona non grata and not an independent by all accounts.
Nick Jones
Friday 19th July 2019 at 11:37 am
Perhaps one of the identified 4 Cllrs can explain their rationale to the public and planning dept .. in light of the identified conditions issue identified ??
Heather Godfrey
Friday 19th July 2019 at 2:13 pm
Well where is Health And Safety? Ive just driven to Lidl and its chaotic. Someone could be knocked over. New car park is long way off finished. I agree it shouldnt have opened.
Manuel Golding
Friday 19th July 2019 at 6:13 pm
Regrettably, my Letter's headline, "Lidl attempts to rewrite planning conditions", has come to pass.
For whatever reason, the CEC Planning &/or Enforcement officers have clearly let down the local community and the Borough at large by allowing Lidl to boldly ignore the required decisions before opening.
The councillors who willingly made themselves seen as thumbing their noses at the local community who will have to endure this monstrosity Cllrs Ian Ferguson, Frank McCarthy & Martin Watkins are all WTC Conservatives for the very Dean Row ward. They were abetted by CEC Cllr Julie Smith of Handforth. Cllr Smith is NOT part of the Independent Group at CEC, of which RoW councillors are.
Interestingly, no RoW councillors, both those on CEC or WTC, attended this opening jamboree. It is surprising that Cllr Smith was present with & allied herself with the Conservatives, defying local residents of her ward who were strongly against the store build from the outset. The residents were supported throughout by their true Independent Handforth CE councillor Mayor Barry Burkhill.
Voters do have long memories!
David Nelson
Saturday 20th July 2019 at 4:35 pm
My submission to Lidl about the poor car park was " passed on to the relevant department".
No.... I'm not holding my breath!
Pete Taylor
Saturday 20th July 2019 at 8:01 pm
No response from Mrs McNutty to Alan Brough's reference to February 2018? did she even bother to read it?
Jean Berman
Saturday 20th July 2019 at 9:26 pm
Are they going to wait until someone is knocked down and badly hurt before they stop this mayhem and crisis in this car park. This store should not have opened I would and I am sure all of the local residents would like to know how this has been allowed to go on WHERE IS HEALTH AND SAFTEY OFFICERS NOW ?? It’s a disgrace.
Richard Armstead
Wednesday 24th July 2019 at 8:26 pm
Dear Deleted Account

Planning Condition Nos. 2,8,11, 23 and 28 have not been discharged prior to opening and therefore my opinion is that the whole development remains unauthorised at this point.

No.2 pertains to parking and CE Enforcement has case reference 19/00628E registered as Priority1 (Danger to the public). Enforcement responded within 24hrs, Latest status is that an Enforcement Officer is 'talking to Lidl'. This complaint urged CE Enforcement to issue a Breach Notice and/or a Temporary Stop Notice. A resolution is not forthcoming as yet.

Nos. 8,11,23 and 28 are registered as case reference 19/00605E and have been allocated Priority2. No feedback currently.
Julie Smith
Thursday 8th August 2019 at 1:04 pm

How's the view up there Manuel Golding? From your ivory tower!

To clarify,

I Am NOT a member of any party. Not conservative, not Lib Dem and most certainly not the ' Independent' Group / Labour coalition, in fact I increasingly find myself defending comments from residents that I have "taken up with Labour like the rest of them" I happily explain that I have maintained my integrity and will continue to represent them as an independent.

I attended the opening of Lidl at the invitation of Lidl. In my opinion, and, the opinion of the majority of residents that I have spoken to, this store is a long overdue, welcome addition to the area. It is a vast improvement to the original store not only from the perspective of customers but staff facilities are excellent as well.

When I arrived at the store I was surprised that the only other attendees were the three WTC councillors. I at least expected the 'Independent' councillors whom I regularly see shopping at Lidl to be in attendance.

This new store not only provides a much nicer shopping environment for customers but fulfils a need in the area for a local 'one stop shop' There are many families in the area that do not have the luxury of driving to other supermarkets in order to do their shopping, there is no local bus service any longer to enable them to shop elsewhere. Did you consider this when objecting?

Staffing numbers at the store have been increased by 25% with the potential for even more depending on seasonal requirements, providing more jobs in the area. Did you consider this when objecting?

As a newly elected INDEPENDENT Cheshire East Councillor, I have to agree with the comment made by Richard Armstead that I am indeed "an unacceptable or unwelcome person" certainly this is my experience with the 'Independent Group' with the exception of one who shall remain nameless lest he be hauled over the coals for consorting with the enemy, but heyho, I have broad shoulders and the courage of my convictions that I will remain truly independent as that is what the residents who voted for me, voted for.

Far from being "allied" to or "abetting" the Conservative councillors, it was pure coincidence that we all found ourselves the only representatives of our residents at the opening of this new store which, incidentally, would have opened whether or not we had been there. In the event, we met with representatives from Lidl who have expressed an interest in being part of the community which may or may not lead to support for one of our most neglected areas.

The issue with the unfinished car park is regrettable but the planning enforcement officer who visited the site on Wednesday was satisfied that it will be completed by 8th August and allowed the store to open. As a newly elected councillor I am not fully conversant with planning regulations but I would have thought that if the conditions had been breached then Toni Fox, the Ward councillor for Dean Row and Barry Burkhill, the other Ward Councillor for Handforth would have been involved as they have been involved with this development from the outset.

In future I would appreciate you not using such platforms as this to attempt to undermine me. If you have a problem with me or the work I am doing please do me the courtesy of contacting me directly. You will find my contact details on the CeC website.
Alan Brough
Friday 9th August 2019 at 4:23 pm
@ Julie Smith,

Congratulations on your recent appointment as an independent Councillor, you are clearly warming to the task.

The old saying "Beware the company you keep" might be particularly apposite here.

No doubt the Independent Group at CEC will have born this in mind in forming a working cooperation with the Labour Group. However, if that is the only effective way of ending the litany of problems resulting from years of unopposed block Conservative voting, its a relatively small price to pay if it brings checks and balances back into local affairs - particularly Planning.

On the subject of Lidls - those families that don't have the luxury of driving to other supermarkets didn't need to did they? They already had a fully-functioning Lidl store approx. 50 yds from the new one.

You mention those extra jobs created by Lidls expansion - have you considered the local jobs lost at Energie Health Club?

Other than a slightly larger selection of (mainly non-food) items I cant really see any particular benefit to the local community from Lidl moving 50 yds across the road. The main beneficiary will be Lidl themselves who will increase profit from bigger turnover and better efficiency. Nothing wrong with that of course, but let's tell it like it is.
Oliver Romain
Friday 9th August 2019 at 10:27 pm
Unfortunately, it’s the stock in trade for the ROW leadership and henchmen to engage in personal attacks, innuendo and smear campaigns against anyone who does not agree with them.
It’s my belief that they don’t want anyone who does not agree with them, to participate in community debate. So they attack over literally anything they can think of in the hope that they will have this space to themselves.
I can only assume they believe they are cleverly scoring political points, however, the reality is people see them revelling in debasing our community and it’s elected representatives.
There are likely to be a number of decent councillors elected under the ROW banner - who do not share the extremist views or aggressive behaviour of Mr Goulding and Cllr Goldsmith.
It must be a dilemma for them about the company they keeping, but they do have a choice. The electorate will judge them on the company they keep and the public faces of ROW that we see week in and week out on this website.