QUESTIONS emailed by the Wavertree Society to LIDL, 21 Apr 2020, and response received from Lidl's PR consultants, 5 May 2020:
UPDATE received from Lidl's PR consultants, 11 May 2020:
1. Has any purchase agreement been signed?
"The Co-op are still the current owners of the site. Lidl has exchanged on a Purchase Agreement, however this process is not yet complete. Lidl will not own the site until the contract is complete."
2. If Lidl does purchase the building … are there any plans to knock the building down?
"Lidl is currently considering all options for the site, which include the potential for a new building of high quality design. Options to retain the building are being explored, but we do need to consider the potential to adapt it to meet Lidl's operational requirements, as well as the structural integrity of the existing building. Lidl is in the process of undertaking extensive surveys on the site, which in the current circumstances are taking a little longer than preferred, however, once Lidl has had time to assess the completed surveys they will be in a position to confirm their intentions."
"Any proposals Lidl has for the site will require planning approval. Lidl is, of course, committed to consulting with neighbours and engaging with the wider community before submitting any application."
3. Are there any Lidl supermarket buildings not 'new build' in the UK?
"Lidl prefers to erect purpose built foodstores to ensure that the building will cater for all aspects of its business model and trading format. However, where possible and viable, Lidl has previously reconfigured existing buildings to make them appropriate for future use. Indeed, in Liverpool Lidl has recently received planning permission to substantially reconfigure and improve an existing B&M store in Toxteth and has recently opened their store on Lime Street, occupying a retail unit in an existing development."
"I have been informed that completion of the purchase [took] place just before the Bank Holiday last Thursday, 7th May, and Lidl was finally able to collect the keys to the building.
"Surveying work is still ongoing. Obviously, findings will then need to be considered by Lidl's team. Needless to say, Lidl will want to move forward as quickly as possible, so we hope to be able to share our proposals with the community within the coming weeks."