Lidl plans to demolish and rebuild Luton store

Lidl, Francis Street, Luton
Lidl, Francis Street, Luton

Discount supermarket chain Lidl has submitted plans to demolish its Luton town centre store– only so that it can be rebuilt again.

In August 2014 the retailer was given permission to extend its branch on Francis Street, Bury Park, to increase floorspace by more than 300sqm.

However Lidl never went through with the plans and now intends to knock down the entire building to start again.

Under a proposal submitted to Luton Borough Council the new supermarket would have a gross floorspace of 2,458sqm– as opposed to the 1,530 sqm the current store has.

Parking spaces would be cut back from 125 to 115 to create space for the enlarged footprint of the store, which sits adjacent to Sainsbury’s.

In a statement Lidl asserts that the development is in the best interests of its customers.

It read: “The larger format allows more flexibility with merchandising and a brighter store with more room for customers to manoeuvre, improving their shopping experience.

“Importantly, the larger format does not result in any material increase in the range of products displayed for sale.

“However, it allows products to be stocked in greater depth, ensuring that customers are more likely to find what they need in a single visit, reducing the need for repeat visits and ensuring that Lidl is better able to satisfy the needs of its customers.”

LBC planning officers will make a decision on the plan by February 1.