PLANS for a new Lidl in Verwood have been given the go-ahead by planning chiefs.

The application seeking planning permission to demolish existing housing and build a Lidl food store in Ringwood Road was approved by Dorset Council’s eastern planning committee on Wednesday, September 30.

In planning documents the German chain said its store would “increase both the vitality and viability” of the town centre.

A statement submitted with its proposals said the provision of a discount supermarket would “complement” existing shops and reduce the need for people to travel further afield.

Lidl has said the new store would open between 7am and 10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am and 5pm on Sundays and bank holidays and would create around 40 jobs.

But its application had attracted dozens of letters of objection raising concerns including the suitability of the site and potential noise and traffic issues created because of the new supermarket.

Planning officers had recommended the application for approval.

A report said the new supermarket would “not have a harmful impact on the vitality of Verwood town centre” and that although use of the site would intensify, initial concerns about the impact on people living nearby had been overcome.

“While there will be some impact on neighbouring amenity as a result of the change and intensification of use,” the officer’s report said, “it is the officer’s opinion that the proposal would not result in an unduly harmful impact on the amenity of the neighbouring residents that would warrant refusal.”

A spokesperson for Lidl said: “We are pleased with the decision and look forward to sharing more information with the local community in due course.”

Verwood Town Council had previously opposed the plans but were in support of the application after design changes were made.

A spokesperson for the town council said: “After a number of design changes made by Lidl for their planned store in Verwood the town council unanimously supported the proposal the last time it came before our planning advisory committee and we are delighted that Dorset Council have approved the proposal and look forward to welcoming Lidl to Verwood and working proactively with them in the future for the benefit of the local community.”