The site for Lidl's proposed new distribution centre near Exeter. Image courtesy of Still Imaging

Lidl is set to buy Sainsbury's land holding at Clyst Honiton near Exeter with the potential to create hundreds of jobs for local people

The site, also known as the Exeter Gateway, already has planning permission for a distribution warehouse of 50,000 m².

After carrying out extensive site preparation works Sainsbury’s put its plans for a depot on hold in 2013.  It has now agreed a deal with Lidl who will acquire the site in East Devon, and bring forward plans for a new distribution centre. 

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council, welcomed the news:

It is great news that Lidl have agreed terms to acquire this site, underlining the credentials of the area for strategic employment growth.

The prospect of 500 new jobs for the area being created quickly is very welcome and we are looking forward to working with them.

Alongside the Met Office supercomputer investment at the Science Park and the Dynamic Parcel Distribution (DPD) depot at Skypark, this news confirms the real momentum at the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point, which is powering ahead as in other dynamic areas of the UK. 

Lidl plumping for the Growth Point is a welcome endorsement of our partnership ability to deliver.

Our vision of delivering new jobs alongside new homes at Cranbrook is well on the way to being realised.

Councillor Lynne Askew, Chairperson of Clyst Honiton Parish Council added:

Clyst Honiton Parish Council welcomes Lidl's decision to invest in our parish on such a strategic site.

We hope to be able to work with them for the good of the local community and the area as a whole.

Adrienne Howells, Lidl UK Head of Warehouse Expansion said:

We are delighted to confirm plans to open a new distribution centre near Exeter, which marks yet another milestone in our ambitious expansion programme.

This additional distribution centre will provide considerable investment in the local community and will service both existing and new stores in the South West.

As the UK’s fastest growing supermarket, we are constantly working to ensure that we have the infrastructure in place to deliver Lidl UK’s unique offering to our ever growing customer base, and we’re very much looking forward to this next phase of our growth.

The Exeter Gateway site benefits from major improvements to Junction 29 of the M5 and the construction of the Clyst Honiton bypass. 

The Clyst Honiton bypass provides access to and from the site without using local roads. As well as providing easy access to Exeter Airport, these road improvements have opened up a corridor linking Science Park, Skypark and Cranbrook as a prime opportunity for economic growth.