Tweedbank: ‘Disappointment’ as councillors told to reject Lidl

COUNCIL officers have told elected members to refuse plans for a new Lidl in the Borders – a move which has been described as “disappointing”.

The supermarket giants stepped into the Borders Gateway development in Tweedbank after Premier Inn dropped out of the project.

According to a recent community consultation held by developers Manor Place Developments and Lidl, more than 82 per cent of households were “in favour of the plan”.

But councillors on the planning and building standards committee have been told to reject the application for a supermarket and five business units when they meet on Monday (March 7).

Elected officials will be told that the store would be five times the size of the Co-op just five minutes drive away and “will have a devastating impact on it and knock-on impact on Melrose footfall”.

Galashiels and Selkirk “will also be affected”, a report to councillors adds.

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Duncan Hamilton, managing director of Manor Place Developments, said he was disappointed not to get the backing of planners.

He said: “We have worked closely with officers in the SBC (Scottish Borders Council) planning team and whilst we are frustrated not to get a recommendation in support of the application, we hope that the members of the planning committee can see from the public support that the store and units would provide a real boost for Tweedbank.”

Gordon Rafferty, Lidl GB’s regional head of property, added: “The recommendation is disappointing, however, we remain committed to bringing our fresh, quality and great value produce to Tweedbank.

“We know there is huge support locally, with residents in and around the surrounding area speaking loudly about wanting this multimillion investment, which will create new jobs for the local economy.

“We hope that the members recognise this support and approve the application.”

The first phase of the Borders Gateway project – which includes a Costa drive-thru and petrol station – started last month.

Border Telegraph | News