A NEW LIDL store is set to open on an industrial estate in Canvey.

The store, in Northwick Road, could be open as soon as next year according to council leader Norman Smith, who is also the man selling the land to the chain.

Councillors unanimously agreed the plans for the new supermarket at a meeting.

Landowner and Tory leader on Castle Point Council, Norman Smith, said: “I am pleased with the decision.

“The people of Canvey have been calling for a discount store like this and the store has been looking for a site.

“We want to work with the company to help them progress as soon as possible, and think it could be open in about one year.

“Lidl are keen to get on site soon.

“I am waiting to move my business to the new business park off Roscommon Way but the new site is not ready yet.

“I think we can work with Lidl to get them on site as soon as we can.”

He said he did not want to reveal how much he sold the land for and confirmed he was not involved in the decision to grant planning permission as this would be a conflict of interest.

Concerns were raised about the exit access onto the road and calls were made for a left turn only exit but not accepted.

The new supermarket will have space for 102 car parking spaces with a further seven disabled spaces, with the main site covering the size of about two football pitches.

It is expected to create 46 new jobs.

The proposal was first mooted back in July last year when Mr Smith was contacted by Lidl asking if any of the land was available.

A total of 939 residents were in favour of the brand building a new store on Canvey and only 35 were not, according to a survey by the firm.

Lidl UK’s regional head of property, Andrew Hodgkinson, said: “We could not be more delighted to have received planning permission and look forward to getting started on construction.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their support, and very much look forward to opening our doors in the not too distant future.”