PLANS for a new supermarket in Whiteley have led to concerns from councillors and residents over a potential surge in traffic congestion.
Lidl is proposing to build a new food store in Solent Way, near Solent Business Park and close to Junction 9 of the M27.
A Lidl store is a good thing but its location will mean that Junction 9 will become even more clogged with cars.Patrick Moore, from Locks Heath
While no planning application for the store has been submitted, the discount supermarket has sent out leaflets to residents in the area as well as holding a public exhibition on its plans for the store and says there will be a ‘minimal impact’ on traffic.
While the idea of the store has been welcomed, the effect its opening could have on traffic has caused concern.
Patrick Moore, who lives in Locks Heath, said: ‘The traffic around here just gets worse and worse.
‘A Lidl store is a good thing but its location will mean that Junction 9 will become even more clogged with cars.’
‘Lidl needs to make sure it is addressing the traffic problems in its plans.’
The application will be decided by Winchester City Council, though Fareham councillors have expressed their concern about the traffic impact in the western wards.
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, stated his concern about the proposals for the supermarket: ‘I think people are right to be concerned about the plans and we will make our views clear to Winchester on this.’
Councillor Roger Bentote, who represents Whiteley on Winchester City Council said: ‘A lot of people in Whiteley seem very keen on the idea of Lidl but people are of course worried about traffic as there are a lot of problems with that junction.’
The Highways Agency is still awaiting funding for improvements at the junction that would see it widened to three lanes on both east and westbound exit slip roads.
The Whiteley Way southbound approach to the junction would also be widened to three lanes.
A spokeswoman for Lidl said: ‘We would like to reassure customers that our planning application includes a full and thorough transport assessment demonstrating minimal impact on traffic.
‘It is our primary objective to build a store that benefits the local community and we thank them for their support.’