A PETITION has been started to urge the council to approve a new budget supermarket in Grove.

More than 600 people have already signed the petition pushing Vale of White Horse District Council to approve plans for a Lidl on a green field east of Grove Road, next to Elm Farm Business Park.

The budget supermarket and GSC Estates first submitted plans about two years but they were rejected by councillors over concerns it would take up too much green space.

READ MORE: Oxfordshire MP cannot decide who to back in leadership contest

A new application was submitted in February this year which was met with support from Grove residents who say the area is in "desperate" need of another supermarket.

Oxford Mail: Visualisation of Lidl in Grove. Plans by GSC Estates (Wantage) Limited and Lidl Great Britain Limited.Visualisation of Lidl in Grove. Plans by GSC Estates (Wantage) Limited and Lidl Great Britain Limited.

Maria O’Brien, who started the petition, said on the page: “Wantage has so many new houses built, being built and another 5,000 planned over the coming years, yet still Lidl planning could be rejected. 

“Most people cannot afford to shop in the overpriced Co-Op, Waitrose and Sainsburys and want more choice.

“If we want cheaper fairer prices we have to travel out of town to get to a nearby Lidl or Aldi adding to fuel poverty, congestion, and air pollution. 

“We the residents of Wantage, Grove and nearby villages want the local councillors to agree to Lidl being given planning permission for a new store in wantage/Grove.”

READ MORE: Step closer to achieving bathing water status in riverside town

A decision was due to be made by the planning authority in May but the council said it had to wait for technical consultations responses before hopefully discussing it a meeting of the planning committee this month.

However, the supermarket is still not on the planning authority’s agenda due to the council’s alleged concerns about the potential impact on the existing Co-Op store at Grovelands.

Spencer Cooper, of GSC Estates, said the developers and Lidl met with the planning authority last week who “confirmed they would be recommending refusal” of the application.

Oxford Mail: Visualisation of Lidl in Grove. Plans by GSC Estates (Wantage) Limited and Lidl Great Britain Limited.Visualisation of Lidl in Grove. Plans by GSC Estates (Wantage) Limited and Lidl Great Britain Limited.

In a statement on Facebook, he said: “The council officers do not have an issue with the suitability of the site for this type of development but it is all about whether there is enough food retail capacity for a discount food store on this site.

“That means this decision is not about the site but is a decision on whether the constituents of Grove will get the benefit of a local discount food store now or in the foreseeable future.

READ MORE: Anti-social behaviour has increased in beautiful riverside town

“Officers confirmed that they will be recommending a refusal due to the retail capacity issues and the impact on the Co-Op in Grovelands - we have been advised that this will be determined at a planning committee in August.

“This will be extremely disappointing news for so many of you.”

A Vale of White Horse District Council spokesperson said: “Our planning service is still assessing the current application and having discussions with the applicant, as part of the normal process.

"Once this is completed, we will prepare a report that will include a recommendation to the planning committee, which will then meet to discuss, debate and determine the outcome of the application.

"We are hoping to refer the application to the August meeting of the committee.”

To sign the petition, visit: https://www.change.org/p/grant-permission-for-lidl-at-wantage


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

A message from our Editor

Thank you for reading this story and supporting the Oxford Mail.

If you like what we do please consider getting a subscription for the Oxford Mail and in return we’ll give you unrestricted access with less adverts across our website from the latest news, investigations, features, and sport.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok for more. 

You can also join the conversation in our Facebook groups: stay ahead of traffic alerts here, keep up to date with the latest from court here, share your favourite memories of Oxford here, get your daily dose of celebrity news here and take some time out with news that will make you smile. 

If you’ve got a story for our reporters, send us your news here. You can also list an event for free here.