A SUPERMARKET chain has launched plans to expand the size of the car park at one of their stores in the New Forest.

Discount store Lidl wants to provide an additional 31 spaces at their store in Lymington Road, New Milton.

The additional facilities would be located on land which had been occupied by a detached property that has now been demolished.

If approved, the overall parking provision for the supermarket would increase to 114 spaces.

Lidl says the move is needed as, despite previous increases in the size of the car park, it is still “insufficient to meet the demand “.

The store opened after planning permission was secured in 2010 and five years later the German chain successfully secured permission to increase the capacity to 85 spaces, although two spaces were lost for a designated trolley area.

The latest set of extension proposals have been submitted to New Forest District Council.

A statement in support of the application says: “The popularity of the store has meant that for some time there has been problems in respect of the capacity of the car park and in 2015 Lidl purchased adjoining land and submitted a planning application for an extension to both the store and the car park.

“Despite the previous increase in parking numbers it has become apparent that the existing capacity is still insufficient to meet the demand and as a consequence Lidl have purchased further land to allow another extension to the car park.

“This is the adjoining site at 43 Lymington Road, which previously contained an ‘approval’ having been obtained in September 2018.”

Lidl says an increase in parking will mean the site will be better able to cope with any weekly/monthly/seasonal fluctuations in demand.

The statement adds: “A survey of the car park has been carried out that shows that the demand for the standard bays reaches 93-96 per cent of the capacity at peak times.

“Typically, when car park demand nears capacity it results in increased queueing and delay within the site, which can impact on the efficient operation of the site access and potentially the surrounding highway networks.”

Residents have until Tuesday, August 6, to submit their comments on the application.