BOSSES at two supermarkets in Wellington are trying to block proposals for a Lidl foodstore in the town.

Waitrose and Asda have both objected to the Lidl plans for a 4.6-acre site off the Nynehead Road/Taunton Road/Torres Vedras Drive roundabout.

Wellington Town Council is also calling on Somerset West and Taunton Council planners to reject the application at their meeting on Wednesday (May 19).

But planners will hear that hundreds of people in the town support the plans.

Waitrose and Asda argue that the proposed site has been allocated for employment use and not retail.

They are also concerned that the store would draw customers from Wellington's other shops and away from Taunton.

Wellington Town Council initially opposed the development on the grounds that the site is greenfield, a gateway to Wellington that would be spoiled by an "eyesore" supermarket, trade in the town centre would be harmed and the increase in traffic would be "detrimental".

The town council has since issued a statement, saying: "The council wish to be clear that it supports the opening of a Lidl store in the town.

"The key issue is around the location and other considerations."

It added: "The town council would welcome further discussions about possible alternative locations for a Lidl store in the town."

A total of 540 messages of support have been sent to SWT, along with 26 objections and 23 issues of consideration.

Supporters point to employment opportunities and competition with other supermarkets; saving trips to Taunton and other towns that already have Lidl stores; use of a vacant site; and less traffic congestion in the town.

Objectors claim highway safety will be adversely impacted; an "inadequate" transport assessment; and the lack of crossing facilities.

Lidl has written to SWT saying that a survey of 4,882 people showed 87 per cent were in favour of the proposed store, with 11 per cent against and the rest undecided.

SWT planning officers are recommended councillors approve the proposals when they are debated at Wednesday's planning meeteing,