FAST food giant Subway is set to open its SEVENTH restaurant in Colchester as part of the redevelopment of the town’s former Homebase site, it has been revealed.

German supermarket giant Lidl is set to create its third store in the town off St Andrew’s Avenue, creating 40 jobs.

As well as a large supermarket, two additional units will be created at the former DIY store site, which has been empty since 2018.

The additional units will be home to a large Costa Coffee, with an adjoining drive-thru, and a smaller Subway restaurant.

Costa already has seven coffee shops in Colchester, located everywhere from the town centre to the entrance building at Colchester Hospital, whilst Subway has six restaurants in the town, five in and around the town centre and one in Stanway.

According to a statement prepared by planning consultants Rapleys, the five closest Subways, which excludes the sixth in Stanway, are all within a 1.5 mile walk of the site.

However, Rapleys said there was “clearly a lack of Subway Stores located in the north eastern area of the town” and “the store would have the ability to meet the needs of residents living in this area”.

The statement reads: “Given the separation distances, it would be unreasonable to assume either the proposed Subway or Costa Coffee drive-thru would complete with each other.

“The proposal, in our view, provides facilities for an entirely different catchment than existing facilities.

“As such requiring the relocation of the proposed units towards the town centre will not meet locational requirements.

“The proposed sub-divisions and development as a whole will help bring back into active use a vacant retail unit, thus creating much needed jobs within the retail sector, whilst benefitting residents by providing a discount foodstore provision.”

It adds: “In summary, the proposed sub-division with the proposed named operators are integral part of the scheme which will create a mix of uses which complement each other and are located in a sustainable and accessible location.”

Planning permission for the new Lidl store was initially granted last year, despite objections being raised by rivals Asda and Tesco.

Fresh plans for the site, featuring a slightly larger supermarket and the two additional units, were unveiled in August.

Once complete, the new multi-million pound supermarket will create 40 jobs with dozens more employment opportunities set to be available at Costa and Subway.

Delays scuppered a proposed 2020 opening date with no new timeframe for completion given on the latest plans.