SUPERMARKET giant Lidl is targeting its fifth store in Southampton – the Echo can reveal.

The German discount chain is drawing up plans for a new supermarket off Bassett Avenue.

The proposed site, on Banister Road, is currently home to car dealership Inchcape Jaguar Land Rover.

But the Echo can reveal that the company is planning a move to the newly developed former Ford site in Swaythling.

Lidl have drawn up plans for its proposed 2,125sqm supermarket, which could have up to 130 parking spaces.

Ahead of submitting an official application to city planning chiefs, the supermarket giant will hold a public consultation today.

However, concerns have been raised ahead of the meeting about the site’s suitability.

Freemantle ward councillor, Brian Parnell, said: “My biggest concern would be the access onto the Avenue.

“But at the moment I haven’t seen enough information to give an informed opinion.”

Freemantle councillor, Dave Shields, called on the supermarket to “weigh up the pros and cons for the local community very carefully”.

Conservative leader and Freemantle councillor, Jeremy Moulton, was highly critical of Lidl for giving residents “such short notice” for the consultation.

The event will take place at St Mark’s Hall on Archers Road today, from 10am to 7pm.

But councillor Moulton said he only received an email from Lidl at 11am yesterday.

He said: “I think it’s appalling and I will be writing to Lidl asking for another consultation.

“It’s also in the day when a lot of people will be at work.”

Councillor Moulton added that he would be unable to attend the meeting, due to short notice given.

Lidl says it has sent 24,000 letters to residents informing them of the consultation.

The company’s regional head of property, James Mitchell, said: “We are committed to working with both the council and local residents to deliver an attractive new store on Banister Road, which will allow for a large, modern store and enhanced shopping experience.”

Mr Mitchell added: “We hope that as many people as possible are able to attend the public exhibition.”

Lidl’s plan includes the demolition of the Jaguar showroom, the vehicle workshops and car wash, and the replacement with a “modern” Lidl store and customer car park.

The majority of the Land Rover showroom at the junction of Banister Road and The Avenue will be retained and repurposed for “new commercial uses”.

If approved, it will be Lidl’s fifth shop in the city, with stores already in the High Street, Woolston, Shirley and Thornhill.

Lidl also opened its £55 million distribution centre in Nursling in 2016 - creating 400 new jobs.

Inchcape Jaguar Land Rover was unavailable for comment last night.