PLANS have been unveiled to extend a Lidl supermarket on the edge of Totton – which would result in the loss of neighbouring stores.
The application has been submitted by London Metric Property which in 2015 purchased the retail park on Commercial Road that hosts the shops. The site currently also features a Poundstretcher, Argos and pet store Jolleys.
The landowner has applied to New Forest District Council to make alterations to create two new entrance doors and shopfronts. It would also remove the existing rear extension and replace it with a smaller, single-storey one.
The proposed drawings submitted by the applicant show just two shop fronts, as opposed to the current four, with Lidl taking up three-quarters of the space.
The second shop shown is discount store Bargain Buys.
Cllr Dave Hills, who is a member of Totton and Eling Town Council, said the plans were “a source of concern” for employees at the stores excluded from the proposed images.
He told the A&T: “Whilst it is great to see companies continuing to invest in Totton, the plans as they stand are a bit sketchy.
“They state that they are for external alterations to existing units only, but the front elevation drawing seems to show only two shops instead of the current four.”
He added: “I will be seeking reassurance from the stores that they plan to remain open and clarification from the owner [of the retail park] as to what their long-term intentions are.”
The application also includes the removal of some boundary trees and changes to the car park layout. Four parent and toddler spaces will be introduced, bringing the total number of car parking spaces to 133 and new trolley bays will be installed.
A spokesperson for Lidl told the A&T: “We are in the process of exploring various options to improve our Lidl store in Totton and look forward to sharing any firm plans with the community, as soon as we’re in a position to do so.”
However, spokesperson for Sainsbury’s, which owns Argos, told the A&T: “We have no plans to close.”
Jolley’s also said it was not looking to close, but could not comment further as the application was from its landlord.
London Metric Property did not respond to a request to comment.
The application states: “As part of the proposed alterations to the front elevation, additional glazed shopfronts will be introduced which will result in a more active frontage, allowing customers views into and out of the retail units.
“The existing extension to the rear, which has a gross external area of approximately 112 square metres, will be removed and a new single storey extension, with a gross external area of 20 square metres, will be erected.
“The purpose of this extension is to house the incoming services.”