The council has been accused of “dragging its feet” over plans for a budget supermarket.

Plans for a Lidl, on a green field east of Grove Road, next to Elm Farm Business Park, were resubmitted two years after original plans were rejected by councillors over concerns it would take up too much green space.

However, a decision on the plans were due to be made by Vale of White Horse District Council by May 11, but the plans have still not gone to a planning meeting.

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Grove district councillor Ben Mabbett has suggested the council is “dragging its feet” and leaving the application in “limbo”, as the decision on plans for a Lidl continue to be delayed.

He said: “I have been stopped in the street to ask when we are getting a Lidl. There is a huge amount of public support for it. Wantage and Grove needs a budget supermarket.”

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He added: “If the council does not decide on a planning application, the applicant can appeal and say the council is dragging its feet and not making a decision, and the plans can go through on those grounds.”

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Julie Mabberley chair of the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group agrees the council is taking its time over the application.

She said: “I do not know why they are dragging their feet; I would assume it will go to committee sometime and will not be delegated. It would be disappointing if it was delegated.”

 Although she agrees a new supermarket is needed, she believes the location proposed is “dangerous”.

READ AGAIN: Grove Lidl: Plans for budget supermarket resubmitted after refusal

Many people living in the area say the plans for the Lidl are "long overdue" after the previous plans were rejected in 2020 and have commented on the planning application on the Vale of White Horse District Council website.

Steve Millam of West Meadow in Farnborough, Wantage commented on the planning application and said: “Wantage has outgrown Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. With the amount of new housing, they can no longer support the number of people who need feeding.”

However, some residents object to the new Lidl. Brian Piggott of Trinder Road in Wantage said: “There is clearly a need for additional retail provision of this type to service the growing population in the Wantage area. However, this application has serious shortcomings, particularly in terms of traffic management and safety, and environmental damage.”

A planning meeting was cancelled on Wednesday June 1 due to there being “insufficient applications ready to come forward for determination by the committee”.

The Vale of White Horse District Council has said there is no specific date currently set to discuss the new budget supermarket.

A spokesperson said: “We are currently waiting for some technical consultation responses that have yet to be received, before it goes forward for determination by the Planning Committee. We hope to receive these in time for next month’s committee meeting.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Rebecca Whittaker, she joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Rebecca covers education and news in Abingdon and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: or calling 07824524333

Follow her on Twitter @RebecWhitt

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