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Supermarkets on industrial estates: Would Fords moving to Sidford free up Alexandria for Lidl?

  • by JW

Lidl wants to move to somewhere a little larger, as announced today:

On the move? The Lidl store in Woolbrook Road, Sidmouth. Picture: Google Maps.

Lidl sets sights on new stores in Sidmouth, Exmouth, Cranbrook, Seaton and Axminster | East Devon News

Lidl names 20 new locations it wants to open stores at in Devon | Devon Live


A comment on the Sidmouth Community pages makes the point very eloquently:


The supermarket giant says it would like to relocate its Sidmouth store…

Now it’s clear what Fords we’re thinking with Sidford, move all businesses to the new site, and hey presto, a large housing and supermarket site! All the crap about new jobs in the area as a result of the Sidford development will be merely moving the same jobs to a new site and adding a load of houses to Sidmouth.

Sidmouth Community



The problem is that the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan will not allow anyone to build houses on the current Lidl site – unless they are prepared to build lots of affordables::


On schemes of 10 or more units or 0.5 hectares or more. (apart from exception sites as allowed by Policy 10 ) a minimum of 50% of homes must be affordable

a referendum version of the Neighbourhood Plan


Similarly, the Neighbourhood Plan will not allow anyone to build houses on the current Fords site at Alexandria Road for the same reasons – so a supermarket might have to do…



The Fords site at the Alexandria Industrial Estate might well be of interest to Lidl – as back in 2012, it was Morrison’s who expressed an interest:

Morrisons eyes up Sidmouth estate | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News – Sidmouth Herald

Futures Forum: Ford’s @ Sidmouth & Sidford >>> of supermarkets and traffic congestion



Finally, whilst Fords have been pushing for years to move out of the Alexandria Industrial Estate, there is actually no need to move, as the Sid Valley has more than enough employment land:

Futures Forum: Sidford business park > Other sites are available

Futures Forum: Sidford Business Park > “the need for the development has not been proven, with the existing employment site at Alexandria Road still having capacity.”

Futures Forum: VGS comment on Fords planning application 18/1094/MOUT >>> “there is no proven need for this particular business park”

Futures Forum: Sidford business park >>> “One of the many reasons why we do not need a new site in Sidford is that many of our employment sites are dormant – because East Devon’s current Local Plan is based upon an anticipated annual UK economic growth rate of 3% from 2007, which has turned out to be just over 1%.”