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Fifth supermarket bid for town

A SUPERMARKET war could break out in a Sussex town.

Lidl wants to build a 1,000 square metre store at the former Marlow Ropes site in South Road, Hailsham.

The news came just two weeks after rival Aldi said it was 'committed' to opening a supermarket in the town.

Tesco is also building its own store in North Street, and Waitrose and the Co-op already operate in the town.

If Lidl and Aldis' plans are successful, five supermarkets would cater for 20,000 people in Halisham.

A spokesman for Tesco said: 'It is a competitive market out there and we have nothing to say about Lidl.

'We are excited about our own plans.'

A Co-op spokeswoman was surprised to hear about Lidl.

She said: 'We are monitoring the situation until we have the opportunity to review firm plans.'

Details about the Lidl store are being finalised but it would include 51 parking spaces.

Ro Patel, Lidl acquisitions manager, said: 'Lidl would be delighted to be part of the retail mix in Hailsham, offering a different shopping experience.

'We would like to introduce ourselves to the local community and will take on board the suggestions of the public after a consultation.

'We would love to source employment for the town and the store would effectively create jobs for local people.'

The new store would sit alongside other new businesses, such as a creche and cafe, at the site.

The Express asked several residents what they thought about the Lidl proposal.

Marianne Pettigrew, from Ersham Way, said: 'I am absolutely 100 per cent against it.

'I would not like the Aldi store either.

'Hailsham has got enough.

'We can't do anything about Tesco now and I feel sorry about the other shops that will be hit.'

Peggy Lawrence, from Lansdowne Way, said: 'We have lost Hailsham.

'I have been here for 45 years and to see the changes is so sad.

'There are so many empty shops.'

Neighbour Margaret China said: 'I wont go there.

'It is definitely not a good thing for Hailsham.

'It might employ a few people but not that many.

'We need regeneration in the town but we do not need all these supermarkets.'

Mrs Grace Cameron, from Western Road, has lived in Hailsham for 28 years.

She said: 'We don't need any more supermarkets.

'I would have thought the supermarkets already there are sufficient for a town this size.

'The more supermarkets we get, the more it is going to kill off the little shops.'

A planning application has yet to be submitted by Lidl.

What do you think?

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