A SUPERMARKET chain is set to build a new store in a site currently occupied by a disused police station.

Budget chain Lidl has revealed that it will build a new store on the former police station site in Shirley, Southampton.

To allow the plans to go ahead, Lidl has earmarked its store in Janson Road, Shirley which employs 30 staff for closure by next year. The new, larger store will have around 50 staff.

James Mitchell, Lidl UK’s regional head of property said: “If granted this would mark a multi-million-pound investment in the area and the creation of new jobs when the store opens.

“We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support and feedback so far and look forward to receiving the decision in due course.”

Lidl’s plans are part of a £1.5bn investment programme to open and upgrade more than 1,500 stores across the UK.

As previously reported last year, both Lidl and its rival Aldi were both keen to secure the site with Shirley being one of nearly 40 police stations which have shut in Hampshire since 2008 after the force was hit with government funding cuts amounting to £55m.

Rival supermarket chain Aldi are also eyeing up several towns across Hampshire for new outlets, including Southampton, Eastleigh, Winchester, Totton, Gosport and Hedge End.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Shirley councillor on Southampton City Council said: “It’s very positive news for the local area and I am glad that they have listened and created 125 new parking spaces.

“I’ve spoken to people in my own ward who are excited by the prospect of more options for cheaper and affordable food.”

Residents are also welcoming the scheme on the site which is described as an eyesore.

Johnathan Daniels, who lives on Wilton Road said: “The scheme will breathe new life into the site and a discount supermarket is certainly the best option to replace it.

“With regards to the old site, I am not sure what it could be used for but it could be redeveloped as housing.”

Lewis Jones, who lives in Bassett and shops in Shirley every week said: “The police station is an eyesore so I am glad that they are breathing fresh life into the site.”

If plans are approved, it is understood that construction on the site could begin early next year while the old site is expected to be sold off.