A LIDL supermarket could be coming to Basildon’s Mayflower Retail Park - taking on a unit which has stood empty for almost a year.

Plans have been submitted by Mayflower Retail Park to replace the closed Fabb Sofas store and replace it with the budget supermarket.

Lidl have agreed to take on the unit, if plans are approved, which has been empty since June last year.

Fabb Sofas was forced to close when the company went into administration.

Adele Brown, Labour councillor for the Fryerns ward, encompassing Mayflower Retail Park, said: "Obviously it will have to go through the full planning process, but it is always good to have that extra choice for residents.

“If approved, the site at Mayflower will not be enormous, in a traditional supermarket sense, but a lot of Lidl’s are not huge and do very well.

“I think that is because they have a completely different model to other supermarkets, they pack it in, stack it high, and keep the prices cheap.

“A lot of our residents have tight budgets, as a lot of the population do nationally, so feeding their families is the main priority, and having budget shops like this is a huge help.”

Lidl will join the likes of Nandos, Costa, M&S Food, Sports Direct and River Island in the retail park.

And residents have welcomed the budget shopping addition.

Vera Clarke, 66, said: “Sounds like excellent news to me.

“I actually travel to the Pitsea Lidl regularly because I am quite a fan of the food, so it is good to have one nearby.

“I will definitely be a regular customer.”

Mayflower Retail Park bosses believe the plans will both benefit the area and make the most of an empty unit.

The planning application reads: “The development will ensure that the unit is brought into productive economic use, generating jobs and other positive economic benefits for Basildon.

“Mayflower Retail Park is an established destination for shopping within Basildon, providing retail floorspace in a scale and format that cannot easily be accommodated within the defined town centres.

“The proposed Lidl is in addition to its existing store in Pitsea and the proposed replacement store at Laindon.

“The applicant and Lidl have agreed terms for Lidl to occupy the space subject only to the grant of planning permission.

“The proposal will enhance the convenience goods provision in the local area, affording local residents a choice of convenience shopping facilitates."

It adds: “It will provide an additional discount foodstore and promote competition between operators.”