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BUDGET supermarket Lidl is set to open the doors of its new Ringwood store next week.

The Christchurch Road site will be the latest addition to the town's exiting supermarkets of Waitrose and Sainsbury's when it opens to the public on Thursday, February 16.

Lidl's next nearest store to Ringwood until now has been in Ferndown.

A spokesman for Lidl said: "We're thrilled to be coming to Ringwood and look forward to opening on February 16."

Ringwood Town Councillors had hoped that a new crossing would be built before the supermarket opened given its proximity to Sally Annes Pre-School and Ringwood Junior School.

On Friday, February 3, the council's planning committee heard that Lidl's transport contribution of £152,000 was being considered by both the New Forest District Council and Hampshire County Council.

Councillor Steve Rippon-Swaine told the meeting that the councils were assessing the viability of both controlled crossings and informal crossings at the busy junction.

Officers from both councils are due to meet on February 22 to discuss the options which will include either a traffic-light controlled crossing or a zebra crossing.

But, given the county council's current resources, the scheme might not be delivered this year, town councillors heard.

Deputy town clerk, Jo Hurd, said: "Our members feel so strongly that there is absolutely a need for this crossing that we'll be discussing the issue again on March 3.

"We know that the resources of the councils are strained but we are given the assurance that the councils are looking at the schemes and hopefully, after that meeting on February 22, we will know more."

The plans for the multi-million-pound supermarket, which is set to employ up to 40 people, were approved last year.