Discount supermarket coming to Longbridge but not everyone is happy to see it

Discount supermarket coming to Longbridge but not everyone is happy to see it

A new supermarket can now be built on the former Rover site at Longbridge despite complaints that the area is already well served.

A superstore chain, thought to be one of the German discounters Aldi or Lidl, now has the green light to set up on Austin Avenue, next door to the existing Smyths Toys store.

The planning application was submitted by Longbridge developer St Modwen which had last year secured permission for a nine-screen cinema and gym on the site.

But the council’s planning committee heard that those plans had fallen through due to a change in market conditions.

They were told that the a 33,368 sq ft shop would create 40 jobs and offer a further 110 car parking spaces.

The plans had prompted 33 letters of objection, mostly on the grounds that with Sainsbury and Morrisons stores nearby the area was already well served for supermarket retail shops.



An artist’s impression of what the new ‘deep discount’ store in Longbridge could look like.


The proposed site for a new supermarket.

They want to see the likes of IKEA, Primark , a garden centre or even leisure facilities like a trampoline, soft play or climbing centre.

However an objector who had asked to speak at the planning committee did not attend the meeting.

There has been regular criticism that too much of the former Rover site has been set aside for housing and retail and that more commercial and industrial development is needed to create higher skilled jobs.

Planning committee member Karen McCarthy (Lab, Bournbrook and Selly Park) said: “It does concern me that the promised leisure facilities are not going to be part of this development.”

She said that with recent store closures announced by the likes of Marks and Spencer and Tesco the retail market is also not as stable as it once was.

And was backed by councillors Lucy Seymour-Smith (Lab, Billesley) andr Peter Griffiths (Lab, Kings Norton South) said residents want more leisure facilities and that there is too much retail in the area.



Plans for a cinema and gym in Longbridge have previously been approved but St Modwen says it cannot attract an operator.
Plans for a cinema and gym in Longbridge have previously been approved but St Modwen says it cannot attract an operator.

Despite their misgivings there were few planning reasons to refuse the store and seven of the 11 committee members voted to approve the scheme.

St Modwen development director Chris Newsome said: “We are immensely proud of what we have already delivered at Longbridge and welcome the planning outcome by Birmingham City Council. We will always strive to do the right thing as part of our regeneration legacy for the area.”

The developer calculates a new supermarket in the town centre would see its overall convenience goods turnover increase by around £9m.

A statement said: “The scheme is intended to introduce a different type of grocery retail to the centre at Longbridge which will complement the existing offer there.”

It added: “It will also fill a gap in provision in this part of the City which is currently not well served by this type of store.”

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