The Grove community is zoned for a Lidl store

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A community is divided over whether a Lidl store should open in the area, with one resident unhappy about the “negative comments” being made about the issue.

Plans to build a branch of the budget supermarket on a greenfield site east of Grove Road were resubmitted in March, two years after the original plans were rejected by Vale of White Horse councilors over concerns they would take up too much green space.

A decision on the new plans was due in May, but the council said it would have to wait for responses from technical councils.

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It is now expected to be discussed at this month’s planning meeting.

Visualization of Lidl in the Grove. Plans by GSC Estates (Wantage) Limited and Lidl Great Britain Limited

The issue of building a German supermarket in the area has divided the community, with people passionate about or against the plans.

Grove County Councilor Ben Mabbett suggested the council was “dragging its feet” and leaving the application in “limbo” as a decision on Lidl’s plan was delayed.

He said: “I was stopped in the street to ask when we were going to get Lidl. He is receiving great support from society. Wantage and Grove need a budget supermarket.”

Brian Piggott, of Trinder Road, Wantage, however, said: “There is clearly a need for additional retail provision of this type to cater for the growing population in the Wantage area. However, this application has serious drawbacks, especially in terms of traffic management and safety and environmental damage.”

Now one resident has taken to social media to call on the community to “respect” the topic and “express your objections politely”.

Marit Selmer-Langacker said the Wantage and Grove Facebook page used to be a “friendly” community space.

“However, he said: “Whether we like Lidl or not, it seems to have exposed some people’s negative side.

“Instead of leaving negative comments on a particular post that you may disagree with, it’s better not to comment at all.

“Please do not make fun of any post in the future.

Oxford Post: Visualization of Lidl in the Grove.  Plans by GSC Estates (Wantage) Limited and Lidl Great Britain Limited

Visualization of Lidl in the Grove. Plans by GSC Estates (Wantage) Limited and Lidl Great Britain Limited

“Many of us find this site useful and appreciate some of the information posted.

“In the future, be respectful and express your objections politely. Most of us live in Wantage and Grove and we want to maintain a warm and friendly community.”

Many in the community agreed with Ms. Selmer-Langacker.

Lorraine Webster points out, “Comments can be given in a kind and polite manner without being offensive.”

Jane Isobel, however, disagreed that the community space was always friendly.

“It’s always controversial and there are a lot of antagonistic opinions,” he said.

This story was written by Sophie Perry. He joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can contact her at: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @itssophieperry

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