Discount supermarket Lidl has set its sights on building mixed-use building schemes and over 3,000 homes in London in order to secure planning permission to open more shops.
With a timescale of three years, these are bold numbers. While the German supermarket has been undeniably active, submitting development plans for a retail park in Hull, a supermarket with 30 flats above in Surrey (mock-up pictured), and an outlet plus 36 affordable homes in Lincoln, so far nationwide it has built only 335 homes, with 476 more to come.
This is not a new approach for supermarkets in Britain. Tesco is an old hand, having built thousands of flats across the capital, and Sainsbury’s has a partnership with housebuilder Barratt. Lidl appears to be broadening its offering, however. For example, in Richmond, West London, plans are afoot to build a primary school perched atop a giant Lidl. The new building will house Deer Park School, a two-form entry primary school of 420 pupils, which is currently camped at an adult community college on a temporary basis.
Lidl chief executive Christian Härtnagel says: “We’re in an incredibly fortunate position where we are able to continue investing into communities across the country that don’t currently benefit from our unique offering.
“We’re also proud that our stores are increasingly helping to pave the way for mixed-use developments, which in turn are supporting important initiatives, such as housing shortages,” he adds.