Plans have been unveiled for a new Lidl supermarket in Inverness, close to one of the city’s busiest roundabouts.
The proposed food store would be part of a mixed-use development that includes affordable homes on an entirely new site on Sir Walter Scott Drive.
It sits close to the Inshes roundabout, which is the subject of an ongoing public consultation on proposals to improve traffic congestion on the roundabout itself and the surrounding roads.
The proposal, which is for a 1,915m² store with 103 parking spaces and up to 39 affordable housing units, is already sparking anger and concern among local residents that it will generate additional traffic at the notorious bottleneck.
The site is across from Inshes Retail Park – home to Tesco and Aldi stores – and adjacent to Police Scotland Division Headquarters and Beechwood Business Park, while Drakies Park and residential properties are also nearby.
The site has historically been used for agriculture but is earmarked for commercial purposes as part of the Highland Council’s local development plan.
In the latest report on major issues, the council is currently considering the development of the site, as well as the land to the south, for housing and green spaces.
Lidl, who conducts a community consultation before submitting a planning application, said: “The site layout and the location of the food store and housing have been carefully considered to minimize any impact on the site’s neighbors. and the surrounding area.
“Much of the existing landscaping will be retained and we have maintained an important buffer zone between the development and our site neighbors, Police Headquarters Scotland to the north and the houses to the west.”
He says the development would provide much needed new affordable housing and create jobs locally during construction and in the store afterward.
He also says he would maximize the use of a “sustainably located” site.
It would be contemporary in design and feature rooftop solar panels providing up to 25 percent of the store’s electricity supply.
But concerns have been expressed by local residents, including residents of Drumossie Avenue, who oppose proposals to create a link road between Drakies Estate and the Eagle Roundabout on Sir Walter Scott. Drive as part of the proposed traffic improvements.
Margaret MacDonald, of Drumossie Avenue, said another new supermarket would not relieve pressure on the Inshes roundabout.
“There is already more than enough supply without having a Lidl near the roundabout,” she said.
She called the proposals to open the cul-de-sac in front of Drakies Primary School to create a connection “shocking”.
“It’s not going to help residents at all,” said Ms. MacDonald, who suggested Mason Road as an alternate access.
People also posted comments on social media, including concerns about the potential loss of green space.
On the Culcabock and Drakies Community Council Facebook page, Malcolm MacBean posted: “It is a shame and Lidl and the council should be ashamed of depriving children of their play facilities.”
Jane Anne MacBean added, “Pollution levels from stationary traffic will go through the roof right next to a school and housing when we have green spaces. There is another shopping area nearby which would have been much better suited.
Nick Lyon said: “The Highland Council is currently considering the development of this site, as well as the land to the south, for ‘housing and green spaces’ – this will be the plan for Drakies Park. “
Further details are available at rapleys.com/consultation/inverness.
As part of the consultation, a virtual event will take place on August 18.
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