A NEW Lidl supermarket is due to open in Basildon after permission was approved for five new major retail units.

It is estimated about 126 jobs will be created as part of the development due to be built on the Gilbarco Veeder-Root base on the corner of Luckyn Lane and Miles Gray Road.

Basildon Council’s planning committee approved plans despite concerns it could take business away from the town centre.

Gilbarco specialises in fuel dispenser technology and fuelling solutions and has been based at the site for more than 50 years, but the owners claim the unit is largely dilapidated.

The company now plans to demolish the current site, build a new base and have room for the five retailers.

The identities of the other four set to be move in have not yet been confirmed but they will not be rival supermarkets.

During the meeting on Tuesday night councillors accepted the supermarket would be popular with families but expressed concerns about the town centre before finally accepting they had already granted permission for this area to be a retail space.

Tory councillor Phil Turner said: “I cannot believe it. Have we gone completely doolally. This council has just passed a motion to put £100million into the town centre and that hasn’t just arisen.

“With respect, we have approved this last year -to put a retail centre out of the town centre. Come on guys, what is going on? You cannot tell me a Lidl in this location will not have an impact on Asda? We are better than this.

“Government are saying don’t put retail out of the town centre.”

Councillor Craig Rimmer added: “I have strong reservations about the loss of industrial space and the competition will be with the town centre.

“It is clear if you have a food store there people will go to out, and that is competing with the town centre.

“We are helping to suffocate our town centres.” Lidl and the developers did not respond to requests for comments.