PLANS for a new state-of-the-art Evesham supermarket from budget German chain Lidl have been given the go-ahead by Wychavon planners.

Aldi has also confirmed it expects construction work on the multi-million pound supermarket to start before next summer, with the plan to open it in spring 2018.

The scheme was approved at the latest meeting of Wychavon District Council’s planning committee, held at Pershore’s Civic Centre on November 17.

The application, which had been recommended for approval by planning officers, was to demolish the existing supermarket at the site, on Broadway Road, as well as the former St Richards’ Hospice building.

This was to allow for the construction of the new store, which includes plans for a sales floor of 1,424 square foot – an increase of 361 over the existing store.

The proposed store featured a larger 122-space car park, increased opening times, an in-store bakery, longer-style tills, and baby changing facilities.

During the public speaking section, Allerdene resident Louise Gould raised concerns about the design, the noise from the site, and the possibility of increased anti-social behaviour.

But Miles Drew, chartered town planner for Lidl, then spoke and said the current store had traded at the site for a number of years and was popular among local shoppers.

“Lidl is excited about the opportunity to deliver a larger store in Evesham,” he said.

“This proposal is intended to deliver a more modern site that operates more efficiently, and brings with it a better shopping experience for customers.”

Councillors’ discussions looked at various issues including delivery times and where deliveries should be taking place, and whether the car park should be locked to stop anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Keith Wright also called for access to the site to be changed, pointing out vehicles had issues when turning right, causing queuing in the area.

Earlier Mr Drew commented that Lidl was committed to ensuring the amenity for neighbours was not harmed by the scheme. He also pointed out the highways authority had raised no objection to the plans.

When the application was put to the vote, it was approved by members on a vote of 13-2.

Following the meeting an Aldi spokesman said work is expected to start on the site within six months, with the plan to open the new store in spring 2018.

Aldi has also confirmed the store will be a Lidl of the Future-type energy efficient supermarket, similar to the one which opened in Worcester earlier this year, and is expected to create 20 new jobs.

Lidl UK’s regional head of property, Paul Hebblethwaite, said: “We could not be more delighted to have received planning permission, and look forward to getting started on construction.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their continued support, and very much look forward to opening our doors and offering our fresh, quality, great value products in the not too distant future.”