A SUPERMARKET giant has put in its plans to convert the former home of a popular DIY store.

Lidl announced its intention open up in Homebase, in St Andrew’s Avenue, Colchester, in April last year.

It held a consultation and public exhibition with residents the following month.

Now the superstore has submitted its plans to convert the building to Colchester Council.

The application is for external alterations and dividing up the building into two units.

It also includes a change of use to allow food retail and landscaping and a car park.

The multi-million pound investment will create up to 40 new jobs.

The supermarket will also feature an in-store bakery, customer toilets and parking for both cars and bikes.

The proposal will provide 165 car parking spaces, including 12 disabled car parking spaces and eight parent and child spaces.

Lidl had originally mooted demolishing the existing building and creating a new store, but later opted for a change of use.

The planning statement said: “It is considered the proposed use, amount of development, layout scale and appearance are acceptable in design terms to deliver the redevelopment proposals and deliver a contemporary design which will enhance the visual appearance of the site and surrounding area.

“Overall, the Lidl store will enhance the visual appearance of the site by delivering a contemporary design and providing safe access for all users in accordance with the relevant design and access policies.”

The public consultation held last year saw 40 people attend.

In total 199 individuals responded to various 'have you say' documents with 81 per cent saying they supported the plans.

The report added: “The consultation received a good response from the local community which overall demonstrated a clear support for the principle of a new Lidl store on St Andrew’s Avenue.

“The consultation process brought attention to the issues considered important to the local community with respect to the new development proposals.

“Local residents are understandably concerned about the impact the redevelopment of the site on traffic and highway matters.”

But Lidl said the “proposals will not result in an adverse impact in respect of traffic impact.”

People have until January 24 to have their say on the submitted plans.

Colchester Council is expected to decide on the plans by February 15.