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'We won't pay any more.' Lidl stands firm over £50k Downham store impact offer

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A £50,000 payment to mitigate the impact of a proposed new Lidl store on the edge of Downham is not enough, community leaders have warned.

But a new report suggests the discount retailer won't offer any more in order to get the green light for its plans.

And it's likely to be left to borough councillors to break the deadlock.

Lidl's plans for a new store in Downham are set to be debated again.
Lidl's plans for a new store in Downham are set to be debated again.

The standoff has developed after West Norfolk Council's planning committee indicated it was "minded" to approve the proposed development off Bexwell Road earlier this month, if a suitable package of mitigation measures could be agreed.

The move came despite the opposition of planning officials who proposed refusal, warning there would be a "significant adverse impact" on the town centre.

But an updated report revealed the stalemate between Lidl and town councillors on the issue.

It said: "The Town Council considers that £50,000 is insufficient to mitigate the impacts of the proposal on the town centre.

"However, Lidl have confirmed that £50,000 is the maximum amount they would offer."

The application is now set to be reconsidered at a planning committee meeting on Monday week, May 9, where members will be asked if they wish to confirm their earlier resolution on the proposal or not.

The latest report reveals that more than 300 members of the public have made comments in support of the application, which Lidl claims will create dozens of new jobs, compared to only 22 objections.

But fears remain about the combined impact of both the store and the nearby McDonald's and Starbucks development on the surrounding area, particularly on traffic grounds.

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