Lidl plans objected by Buckingham Town Council due to ‘needlessly long’ step-free route from shop to bus stop

An artist's impression of the proposed Lidl store for Lace Hill
An artist's impression of the proposed Lidl store for Lace Hill

Buckingham Town Council will not support plans to build a Lidl store at Lace Hill until the route for shoppers with mobility difficulties is shortened.

Plans for the supermarket have been submitted with a consultation period running until February 3 ahead of a decision being made in March.

But Buckingham Town Council has objected to the plans which include 121 parking bays and landscaping off London Road.

The Lace Hill masterplan includes building a medical centre, a hotel and restaurants.

A council spokesman said: “The shortest route from the shop entrance to the London Road bus stops involve steps.

“The alternative for those with limited mobility, prams or trolleys is needlessly long, involving an internal road crossing at its widest point and a long walk back after crossing the access road.

“This is contrary to the Equality Act 2010 which states that the disabled may not be disadvantaged in comparison to the able-bodied.”

The town council wants to see to plans for a crossing from the shop door to the cycle parking bay and a ramp along the verge, ending at the top of the steps.

Councillors object to the removing and replacing of the London Road hedge but accept the reasons for chopping down the “diseased and root-damaged” ash tree although they would like to see a replacement planted.

A planning statement from urban designers e*SCAPE said: “This local food store will create a high quality retail development which is part of the wider neighbourhood in which it sits.

“The proposals as illustrated work with the ‘grain’ of the townscape and landscape, using the current surrounding landscape, built form and uses to develop a proposal which is grounded and seamlessly integrates into its setting and the existing/emerging settlement pattern.”