Lidl alters plans for new Sheffield supermarket but environmentalists still disappointed over river proposals

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Lidl has ‘grudgingly’ acknowledged the existence of Sheffield’s Porter Brook river - but still refuses to open it up, environmentalists say.

Simon Ogden, chair of the Sheaf & Porter Rivers Trust, said the firm had submitted a revised ecology report to go with its planning application for a supermarket on the former Staples site at 200 Eyre Street.

But it ‘remains dismissive’ of de-culverting and restoring the river channel as a wildlife and active travel corridor. Lidl’s initial plans were lambasted for a ‘complete failure to acknowledge’ the stream. The firm updated them in October. But more than 100 people are objecting, including the Environment Agency.

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Mr Ogden said city council policy was to expose and daylight culverted rivers if possible - and neighbour Decathlon had uncovered the Porter Brook in its car park.

How the new Eyre Street store could look.How the new Eyre Street store could look.
How the new Eyre Street store could look.

He added: “Lidl’s intention is the retention of a maximum number of car parking spaces which they claim are essential for viability. This claim is disproved by the the longstanding and successful operation of several large supermarkets in the city centre including Sainsbury on the Moor and Co-op on Castle St which don’t have parking. And Lidl's own recently-approved application for the former Sports Direct on High Street also doesn’t have parking.”

He added: “We would question whether this use is even appropriate for the site at all, given the profusion of food retail already available in the area and the severe shortage of sites for much-needed housing and employment in the city centre.”

An Aldi and a Waitrose are a stone’s throw away across St Mary’s Gate.

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