Disappointment as Lidl delays plans for Portchester store

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  • Thousands showed support for Lidl but its plans have been delayed
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RESIDENTS have spoken of their disappointment as a discount supermarket which saw hundreds of people campaign so it could open has been set back.

Lidl put in a planning application to Fareham Borough Council last year to turn the former Homewood Interior unit on Castle Trading Estate, in Southampton Road, Portchester into one of its stores.

The application attracted thousands of comments, petitions and protests from residents who were keen to show their support for the chain.

More than 400 people packed out the council’s planning committee meeting to see permission granted in July.

However, one month later, residents have spoken of their frustration as the site remains boarded up, with the derelict furniture store descending into an eyesore, and no sign of work beginning to create the new shop.

Yesterday, a spokesman from Lidl confirmed that the store would not be open until at least next year.

Pensioner June Medan, of Heritage Gardens, Portchester, said she was disappointed as she had wanted to do her Christmas shopping there.

The 72-year-old said: ‘I wanted it to open straight away, I really like their stuff and it’s inconvenient that it is taking so long.

‘It’s a real shame it won’t be here for Christmas either.’

Sam Wilson, from Windsor Road, Portchester said he had written to his ward councillor in support of the store,

The 41-year-old said: ‘I’m really gutted and it’s really disappointing.

‘I did everything I could for it to open.’

Dorila Henrique, from Portchester, said she felt betrayed.

The 65-year-old said: ‘It’s stupid, why do they keep messing about? The council made a decision, the response was overwhelming and so many people went to the meeting. It’s inconvenient and it’s disgusting.’

Fareham Borough Council’s leader Sean Woodward said: ‘I am sure this is very disappointing for residents and it is somewhat surprising as they were pressing the council very hard to get permission.

‘I am sure many residents will feel very misled by Lidl.’

Spokesman Jason Gratton, who has been at the head of the campaign to bring Lidl to Portchester, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Earlier this month, rival chain Aldi also announced its plans to build a store further along Southampton Road, in Paulsgrove. Its plans are awaiting a decision from Portsmouth City Council.