Lidl has received planning permission to build a new supermarket in Horley, which will be within 0.3 miles of a Tesco Express branch and one mile of a Tesco Extra store.
The objection, as per Tesco, was based on material planning considerations. It is now seeking a judicial review against the council’s decision.
The company reportedly stated that it does not typically oppose planning applications from competitors nor on concerns of potential trade loss or deliberately delaying developments.
Meanwhile, Lidl regional property head Adam Forsdick expressed disappointment over Tesco’s actions.
He was quoted as saying: “We strongly disagree with their position and believe that these actions are only in the interest of Tesco and not the wider community.”
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Lidl’s proposal received overwhelming public support during a consultation, with 91.5% of 2,183 responses backing the new site.
The BBC quoted a Lidl letter addressed to residents as saying: “If Tesco is successful this will once again place the future of Lidl in Horley at risk.
“We would like to reassure you that we remain fully committed to bringing these new store proposals, but clearly this is likely to cause some delay and could ultimately impact our long-term presence in the town.”
The legal challenge is the second instance of opposition faced by the discount retailer. Waitrose, on a previous occasion, raised objections against Lidl’s Brighton Road site plans.
It is not the first legal battle between Lidl and Tesco after the two previously faced off over the blue and yellow logo.
In April last year, London’s High Court ruled in favour of Lidl, with Tesco found guilty of infringing Lidl’s trademark.