THERE is big news in Crediton tonight, that Tesco has failed in its bid to stop the building of the planned Crediton Lidl store.

Lidl was granted planning permission for the new store off Commercial Road in the town in September 2022, but agents acting on behalf of Tesco issued a letter advising of legal action over the store.

Today (November 23), local Mid Devon District Councillor John Downes told the Crediton Courier newspaper: “I have just been informed that the process that Tesco invoked was called a Pre Action Protocol where by they needed to make their case within six weeks for a Judicial Review.


“MDDC (Mid Devon District Council) defended their position and Tesco did not go to the next stage which would have been a court order.

“So that means the challenge has ended.”

Mid Devon District Council is the planning authority for the district, which includes Crediton.

Previously, Councillor Frank Letch, the County Councillor for Crediton, who is also a Mid Devon District Councillor and a member of the Mid Devon District Council Planning Committee explained on social media: “This post seeks to inform you that the Mid Devon District Council has received a pre-action protocol letter in regards to a Judicial Review (JR) of the recently approved Lidl application (21/00222/MFUL), which is being challenged by BCLP on behalf of their clients, Tesco.

“The JR seeks to challenge the decision on two groups:

1 Loss of the sports pitch and the lawfulness of this decision, s106 matters.

2 Heritage.

“The council (MDDC) is now taking appropriate action to respond to the challenges contained within this letter as the LPA considers that it has acted in a lawful manner throughout the consideration and determination of this application.”

The failure by Tesco clients BCLP to submit a Judicial Review is being greeted as good news for campaigners who have wanted the German international discount retailer chain to open a store in the town.

Lidl has more than 11,000 stores across Europe and the United States, and earlier this month wrote to the 3,500 Crediton residents who supported it, that its plan for a store in Crediton could be at risk because of the threat of a Judicial Review.

Lidl’s property team earlier this month wrote to local residents to update them on this development and reassure them of Lidl’s continued commitment to Crediton.


The letter, by Oliver McGuinness, Lidl GB Regional Property Director, for and on behalf of Lidl Great Britain Limited, read:

“Dear Resident,

Proposed Lidl Store, Commercial Road, Crediton (21/00222/MFUL)

I am writing to update you on developments relating to plans for a Lidl store in Crediton, which was granted planning permission on Friday, September 23, 2022.

Our proposal received an overwhelming show of support from over 3,500 members of the community, including yourself, and I would like to take the opportunity to extend our sincere thanks.

Since permission was granted however, we understand that representatives on behalf of Tesco have written to the Council, requesting the existing Planning Permission is quashed, and that this could lead to a formal legal challenge.

We want to reassure you that we strongly disagree with their position. Unfortunately, as a result of this action, your new Lidl store is now at risk.


As a discount supermarket, we exist to provide households with access to good food at affordable prices.

For the communities we serve, this is more important now than ever before, and as the cost-of-living-crisis deepens we know that any delays to a Lidl store for Crediton will come as a huge blow to many.

In addition to this, along with the creation of new jobs, our plans also include a £400,000 contribution to assist Crediton Rugby Club in relocating to their much longed-for new facilities.

The relocation of Crediton Rugby Club would not only help safeguard its future, but also bring forward the development of much needed new housing under Mid Devon District Council’s Local Plan.

As a mark of our commitment, we have already paid this contribution and completed on the purchase of the site.

However, should Tesco’s request to quash the planning permission be realised, these plans will also be at risk.

We would like to reassure you that we are fully dedicated to providing the Crediton community with access to a Lidl store and will do everything possible to challenge these claims.

We welcome any further support that you can offer, to help ensure the future of your local Lidl store and Crediton Rugby Club’s successful relocation.

Some ways in which you could express this includes:

-  Via social media, with the hashtag #lidlcrediton -  Writing directly to your local representatives, such as the Council or your MP, Mel Stride. Many thanks once again for your continued support. We will endeavour to keep you updated on developments as they progress, and hope to welcome you to Lidl Crediton in the near future. Assuring you of our best intentions at all times.

Yours sincerely Oliver McGuinness Lidl GB Regional Property Director For and on behalf of Lidl Great Britain Limited.”


In August 2022, the Chairman of the Trustees of Queen Elizabeth’s Education Foundation, wrote to the “Courier” and explained that Crediton students will benefit from the proposed new Lidl store.

Peter Bryan wrote: I write as Chairman of the Trustees of the Queen Elizabeth’s Education Foundation, owners of the Exhibition Road field in Crediton.

I would like to correct a number of misunderstandings regarding Lidl and this field.

We have been letting the field to the Rugby Club since the School had no further use of it in order to gain some income.

For some years now this site and that of the Rugby Club have been earmarked for residential development within the Local Plan and two years ago Lidl approached the trustees, having sought and failed to find any other location within the town.

Negotiations resulted in a planning application being granted to them recently.

Queen Elizabeth’s Education Foundation exists, totally separate from the school, and of course the Ted Wragg Trust.

We provide support for students in various ways, bursaries, prizes, equipment and support that otherwise might not be forthcoming from any other source.

The agreed price, £800K for the Lidl land, will be invested solely for the Foundation to use in supporting existing students and past students up to the age of 25.

This is, of course, a significant sum and will enable us to do much more to help.

All the funds will, of course, be retained by the Charity.

It is interesting to note that including the £400K to the Rugby Club to help the provision of improved and alternative playing facilities, means that the arrival of Lidl will see £1.2m of funds dedicated to the Youth of our community, surely something to be pleased about.”


The Lidl plan is for a store on one of the rugby pitches at The Rec.

Recently fencing has been erected around the proposed site of the new store.

Conditions recommended by MDDC include S106 payments by Lidl of up to £400,000 “to assist in the relocation, process and provision of improvement playing fields” for Crediton Rugby Club and £100,000 towards the provision of a zebra crossing, which includes realignment of kerbing in Hawkins Way.

A total of £87,289 is to be paid to assist with traffic through the Western Gateway, St Lawrence Green and High Street with regard to air quality.

All existing trees are to be retained.

A total of 319 letters of representation were received, 14 were of objection, 300 in support and five being of general comment.


The new supermarket formed part of Lidl’s £1.3bn investment plans across Great Britain in 2021 and 2022.

It will feature a sales area of 1,256m², an instore bakery, customer toilets as well as 114 car parking spaces and 10 bicycle spaces.

Once opened, it says it will create up to 40 new jobs for the local economy.

View the application via the website: .

• Are you pleased Tesco did not go to the next stage in its attempt to stop the Crediton Lidl store?   Why not share your views with fellow “Crediton Courier” readers?

Write a letter to: The Editorial Manager, Crediton Courier, 102 High Street, Crediton EX17 3LF.  Alternatively, email your letter to: [email protected] .

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