Green light given to bring Lidl to Portswood

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Recommendations for a 7th Supermarket in Portswood have been given the green light, it was announced last week.

Lidl, the German discount company from  Essen, is planning on taking over the car park area on Westridge Road, off the middle of the High Street.

Approval is subject to planning consent and other conditions being met, including the maintenance of a free short-stay car park on the site, regardless of whether motorists shop at the proposed new supermarket.

However, with 5 Supermarkets on the High Street, and a Sainsbury’s being built opposite the Mitre on Portswood Road, it has been questioned as to whether another Supermarket is required.

Lib Dem group leader and ward councillor Adrian Vinson said the scheme would damage Portswood. He said, “there’s virtually unanimous hostility to the proposal. I’m very concerned that we keep a thriving and diverse centre, which is difficult enough in this economic climate. [That many supermarkets] is clearly far more than is needed to meet local demand. It’ll mean fewer spaces being chased by more vehicles, and it’s bad news for the other businesses in the district centre.”

An announcement on  whether Lidl is given planning permission is expected to be decided at Southampton City Council in the next month or two.

Do you think Portswood needs another Supermarket? Please leave your comments below.

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Discussion8 Comments

  1. avatar

    No, we really dont need another supermarket in Portswood. The car parking is much more valuable for visiting shops and restaurants in Portswood.

    I dont know if anyone has been to a Lidl, but the quality of the products is in my opinion, appalling, and therefore not good value for money. I would have thought that anyone would be better off buying own brand in Waitrose, or Sainsbury’s. If you really want all the cheap junk food, such as biscuits chocolate and crips, then we already have an Iceland in Portswood. We also already have an Aldi very close by, who on earth will want to shop in a Lidl?

    People are better off eating a little less, and eating better quality food if they want to stay fit and healthy, and keep their teeth.

    I really hope this silly proposal is rejected.

    Mr F
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    I don’t agree with the proposals for Lidl as I would worry about the impact on the local independent retailers in the High St, and i have no interest on the company, however, Mr C above has clearly never been to Lidl or Aldi by suggesting that they sell “cheap junk food” and suggests people eat less food and food of better quality. Lidl regularly sell their fruit and veg at half price, and even full price is almost always cheaper than waitrose and sainsburys, so to argue against Lidl on health grounds is just wrong. Why doesn’t Mr C encourage residents to support their local independent shops such as the green grocers, butchers etc that currently trade on the high street rather than making pompous-sounding, I’ll informed comments.

    Mr C
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    I am very much in favour of supporting local shops, it would be great to have a really good local butchers in Portswood, but it would have to be truly excellent to attract people away from Waitrose. We have had some really good cafe’s set up, eg Kates in Portswood that uses excellent local ingredients.

    However I find the quality of fruit and vegetables in greengrocers and in the lower end supermarkets tends to be much lower than in the better supermarkets. It is apparent that the higher grade product tends to be bought by the higher end shops, such as Marks and Spencers and Waitrose, the next grade by Sainsburys Tesco and Morrisons and Coop, the next grade by Asda, and whats left and needs to be shifted is picked up by greengrocers from the wholesalers. OK I generalise, and there will be some high quality greengrocers around, but there is some broad truth in this, you tend to get what you pay for. Greengrocers with excellent grade product tend to be at least as expensive as a good supermarket.

    I have been into Lidl on a couple of occasions and the fresh food section didn’t exactly stand out to my eyes, personally I wouldnt buy anything there.

    When I was tempted to buy a couple of products from Aldi and Lidl having seen advertising for them in the national press, I have always been most disappointed with the quality. I wouldnt bother going back now, I have been disappointed enough.

    If they sell their fruit and vegetables “half price”, then that may be because they are buying in much lower grade produce to start with. It’s good that such short life produce finds a market, and is sold at affordable prices for people who need to survive on a limited budget, but it would be so easy to waste money if what you buy goes off so much more quickly.

    Cheaper shops are fine if you are going to buy fruit and veg on the day you need it, but if like me you buy high quality fruit and veg because you shop once a week and want it to keep for more than a few days, then if you dont want to end up throwing it out, personally I would recommend Waitrose or Marks and Spencers, and of the two, I would support th local Waitrose. I find buying cheap vegetables to be a false economy, unless you are going to take them straight home for a stew or a soup.

    Mr C
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    Mr F, if you go into Aldi, they are great at selling bulk packs of high calorie highly processed food such as biscuits and crisps.
    If you want cheap (what I would call junk) food to fill a table for a party, it is the place to go.
    However, for people who want to eat healthy food on a budget, I can eat healthily at Waitrose cheaper than many would spend on unhealthy food at somewhere like Aldi. Whenever I go to Aldi, all that stands out in the food section is frozen fatty party food, bulk packets of penguins, bulk packets of crips. The temptation of course, is to buy this stuff, and lots of it, as all the own brand stuff in there looks so depressing you cling to the branded goods that are being sold as something recognisable, and the branded goods tend to be dry packet junk food (in my experience). I believe I would have to work hard to find healthy food I would be prepared to buy at Aldi.
    From experience, I do not believe I would find it possible to do a proper week’s shopping there.

  2. avatar

    This proposal is utterly ridiculous! The parking issue is bad enough in Portswood as it is without something being built over the only existing car park.

    Rather than over-develop one TINY area, why are there not more proposals to develop transport links and accessibility across the city? Supermarkets are trying to cash in on the student population in Portswood when the area should be trying to de-ghettoize itself and enabling students to spread out across the city.

    We should be supporting more small businesses and developing the local economy that way. The city already has a serious problem with chain shops and lack of diversity in retail establishments.

    I think having longer term plans to develop Southampton may also make it a more attractive place for graduates to reside.

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