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Protesters say new Lidl in Todmorden increases flood risk

ACTIVISTS have held an angry demonstration outside a new supermarket in West Yorkshire, arguing the building puts hundreds of homes at risk of being wrecked by floods.

Lidl has been given planning permission to build a huge new store in Todmorden, which has been hit by devastating floods five times in recent years.

The German supermarket chain has been given planning permission on condition that the construction incorporates flood defence measures to protect local homes and businesses.

However the German supermarket chain has ignored the conditions, protesters demonstrating on Saturday said.

The store’s huge car park, near the flood-prone River Calder, has been constructed four feet higher than surrounding land and streets occupied by dozens of houses.

Locals warn that in the likely event of more floods, water will run away from the supermarket and into nearby homes and shops.

Construction work was suspended three months ago as the planning wrangle continues. The footpath next to the site alongside a busy main road is sealed off.

Protesters brandished placards demanding “Give Us Our Footpath Back” and “Not Every Lidl Helps” – a play on the chain’s advertising slogan of “every Lidl helps.”

Among the campaigners is local shop owner and former town mayor Abid Hussein.

“We are not against Lidl – if they do everything according to the plan,” he said.

“But the way they have built the car park puts 400 people’s homes at risk of flooding. We have been flooded five times and don’t want any more.”

Lidl could not be reached for comment.

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