Plans for a new Lidl food store on the old Organ and Dragon site in Ewell were rejected last week.

Councillors cited the proposed building’s “dominant and overbearing” appearance, inadequate parking for staff and customers, increased queuing and congestion on nearby roads, and a lack of crossing facilities for shoppers walking to the store, as reasons for throwing out the application.

The German supermarket giant had hoped to build a two-and-a-half storey store in London Road, Ewell, with a car park on the site of the former pub after it was destroyed in June 2014.

Lidl had also unveiled plans for a new store and 30 apartments for a site on Upper High Street, Epsom, in January, and in April, the company filed an application with Epsom and Ewell borough Council.

From January: German supermarket giant Lidl unveils plans for new store and apartments in Upper High Street, Epsom

Council officers had recommended councillors refuse plans for the old Organ and Dragon site at a planning committee meeting on Thursday, June 15.

Surrey Comet:
The Organ and Dragon was demolished in June 2014

More than 150 residents and neighbouring companies had objected to the application.

One objector wrote: “Cars queuing to enter the proposed site would cause severe disruption and congestion.”

Another wrote: “Local school children walking to and from school would not be safe as they would have to cross where the Lidl car park would be and the increase in traffic would make it extremely difficult to cross the roads safely.”

From February 2016: Aldi battle Lidl application for former Dairy Crest site in Alexandra Road, Epsom and hint at their own Upper High Street plans

From April 2016: Epsom and Ewell Borough Council reject Aldi's plans for new store and flats on former Dairy Crest site in Alexandra Road

From October 2016: Aldi appeal Epsom and Ewell Borough Council's decision to reject controversial plans for new store

Others criticised the development as “unsightly”, “out of keeping”, and raised concerns about road safety – especially for cyclists riding southbound on the A24 approaching the crossing of the A240.

Another noted that there are already several supermarkets – Tesco Express in Reigate Road, Ewell, Sainsbury’s Local in Cheam Road, Epsom, Co-op in Chessington Road, Ewell, and Marks and Spencer’s opposite the London Road site – in the vicinity.

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