Lidl in Kirkcaldy: Bridge over Tiel Burn plan ruled ‘unreasonable’
Lidl will no longer have to build a footbridge over Tiel Burn next to its new Kirkcaldy store - after it emerged it was never asked to build it in the first place.
Planners have decided that a requirement imposed by councillors to build a crossing north of its new Esplanade shop was "unreasonable".
The German supermarket giant was given permission to build the £3.3 million store in January to replace its ageing unit half a mile away.
As part of the deal to let Lidl build the shop, conditions were attached to encourage people to walk and cycle to the store, including one requiring the company to build an access over the burn next to the store.
Lidl bosses objected to the condition, added at the request of councillors on Fife Council's central and west planning committee, because it says it does not own all of the land where a bridge could be built.
However, council officers have since assessed the mandate and noted that, while the committee ordered Lidl to draw up and submit plans for how it would create the crossing, no demand was actually made for the bridge to be built once it was designed.
Transport experts in the council, having listened to the supermarket's plea, has decided the existing transport links from Bridge Street and the Esplanade are good enough for accessing the shop on foot or by bike.
Daniel Farmer, the planning officer tasked with assessing the application, also said the wording of the condition had been "imprecise", and may not have had any legal standing.
Farmer told a Wednesday meeting of the planning committee: "It is unreasonable to enforce [the] condition...as there is no requirement for the approved plan to be installed on the application site.”He added: “There are sufficient cycling and pedestrian routes from the south and the east with the current cycle paths."
The condition was unanimously revoked. Lidl has already begun trading from the new store, which opened on August 26
Its former premises further along the Esplanade are due to be taken over by Iceland’s Food Warehouse brand.