'Light at end of the tunnel' for Lidl plans for Bath
Plans for a new Lidl supermarket on the old Herman Miller site in Bath seem to be slowly moving closer to reality.
Councillor Tim Ball (Lib Dem, Twerton) has been telling his constituents that everyone involved is almost ready to sign the necessary legal papers.
He said: "There at last seems to be light at the end of the tunnel on this long running saga as all parties now seem to be ready to sign the legal agreements that will allow Lidl on the Lower Bristol Road to become a reality.
"We again keep our fingers crossed as we have been very close to this position before."
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It had been hoped that work on the site would have started by now, but the planning process is made complicated by the fact Bath and North East Somerset Council wants a section of the land to build a bus lane in the future.
The local authority is ready to grant planning permission to Lidl and its development partner Acornford, which owns half the building and land, but needs to pin down the conditions of a section 106 agreement.
A B&NES spokesman said it was hoped that there would be movement over the next few weeks.
He said: "The council is doing all it can to progress the Lidl planning application alongside all of those with an interest in the land.
"However, the application can only move forwards once the other freeholder of the site has agreed to sign the Section 106 Agreement. They have yet to do so.
"We anticipate further discussions between all interested parties over the coming weeks."
A spokeswoman for Lidl said the company was continuing to work with B&NES and Acornford to put together acceptable proposals.
The progression of Lidl and Sainsbury's developments in the city come at a time when Tesco has resubmitted its plans to open a store on the former Bath Press site, in Lower Bristol Road.
Two previous applications were withdrawn after concerns by planners over traffic and the impact on shops in nearby Moorland Road.