PLANS for a 2,100sq m new Lidl supermarket have prompted a host of concerns about congestion and the effect on neighbouring shops.

Reaction to the proposals for Grove has largely been positive, but there are fears that the store could have repercussions for traffic, local businesses and general expansion in the area.

The German supermarket chain is proposing to build the store on a green field east of Grove Road, next to Elm Farm Business Park which is occasionally grazed by sheep.

Grove parish councillor Ben Mabbett said: "I am pleased to see another supermarket moving into the area as I think it is badly needed, but I am concerned about the junction from the main road.

"I hope the county council highways can alleviate those concerns through the planning process."

He added: "What this does do is underline the fact that with the housing being built, new businesses and shops are looking to set up in the area. We just have to make sure it is done in a sustainable way and build on the great independent shops we have."

On a residents’ Facebook group, Trevor Rolls echoed the concerns, writing: "Terrible idea on an already busy road. You have a job getting out of that road from the building merchants, this will just make it 20 time worse.

"It’s schools and doctors we need, not more cheap, s*** shops."

Wantage MP Ed Vaizey said he was always happy to welcome more choices for shoppers in Wantage and Grove but warned: "This site must be carefully thought out to minimise the impact on traffic locally and avoid merging Wantage and Grove.”

Lidl submitted a planning application to Vale of White Horse District Council last week, with residents invited to discuss the plans at a community drop-in event hosted by the chain tomorrow at the Old Mill Hall, Grove, from 3pm to 7pm.

Residents have largely responded positively to the plans, with Catherine Stoermer epitomising much of the reaction on a community Facebook group by labelling it ‘excellent news’ for consumer choice.

Grove Parish Council clerk Graham Mundy said that 'any suitable scheme that creates local employment and choice for consumers must be welcomed'.

The new store is expected to create up to 40 jobs.

However, other concerns about the development have been raised.

Wantage butcher Vincent Montgomery said: “It’s going to have a negative effect on us, that’s for sure. Things are very tight anyway and this will only make it worse.

“The high street is struggling and we are being undercut.”

Mr Montgomery welcomed increased choice for locals but said it came at the expense of small, independent businesses.

Julie Mabberley, campaign manager for Wantage and Grove Campaign Group, added that she had concerns that the move would mean Wantage and Grove merging even more into one single settlement.

She said: “My only problem is that this will fill the final gap between Wantage and Grove – ‘Wansgrove’ here we come.”

One commenter on the Herald website echoed that concern, writing: "That looks like entirely the wrong place to put a supermarket – it's neither in Grove nor in Wantage.

"No-one will go there on foot, with the possible exception of the houses across the road, so there will be large numbers of car movements across a junction that is already hard to negotiate at busy times.

"Surely it would be far better to locate it either in the middle of the new Crab Hill development, or in the middle of the new Grove Airfield development?"

Lidl was repeatedly asked for comment but did not respond.

However on a dedicated website about the plans the company says the store would provide a 'high-quality shopping experience' in a 'modern, energy-efficient building' which would include free car parking and an in-store bakery.

Grove currently has a Co-op and Tesco Express, while neighbouring Wantage has a Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

The new store is proposing to open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday.

To see more, visit or see the application on the White Horse District Council’s Planning page at