Swallownest could get a Lidl store under plans to redevelop Christ Church site
Consultations have begun on plans which could see a new supermarket built on the site of a former church in the village of Swallownest as part of a project which would also create improved sports facilities for the community.
Lidl want to clear the site of the Christ Church building and create a new supermarket and car park, in a move which would see new changing rooms built for Swallownest Miners’ Welfare next door and a new play area, in addition to other improvements.
According to the company, the development would create around 40 new jobs in addition to providing improved shopping facilities for those living in the area.
The site borders the Sheffield suburb of Woodhouse but falls within Rotherham Council’s borders and that authority will make a decision on whether the scheme is allowed to proceed.
Public consultations will go on until late May, but one objector has already raised concerns about the proposals, because of its close proximity to a nursery, infant and primary schools.
The objection states: “The crossing between the schools is just a zebra crossing and during the day children have to cross between the schools, at least every lunch time which would be a busy retail time.
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“I am worried for the safety of children crossing with the extra traffic produced by this store. I am also concerned about the pollution from these cars, and the impact on young children’s health.
“Even the building works will impact on the schools. The retail unit backs up to the foundation part of the primary, and the noise and dust levels will have a negative impact on the children's learning. I feel that more suitable sites could be found, and there is not a village need as there is another store (Aldi) due to be built just round the corner.”
According to the planning application, Lidl have ruled out the availability of other suitable sites in the area and say they expect the business to “create an upward spiral of economic benefits.
“Weidening the retail offer will also help to maximise expenditure within Swallownest whilst increasing the viability of local businesses within the local area.”
A decision on the application will be made after consultations have been completed.