Stanmore is set to get not just one but two new supermarkets.

Discount chain Lidl is following hot on the heels of Sainsbury's in planning to open in the area in August.

The German chain, which has more than 130 stores nationwide, intends to take over the former Safeway store in The Broadway and renovation work has already started. Safeway said contracts had been exchanged but the sale had not been completed.

Loading article content

If both plans go ahead it will mean that Stanmore will have two supermarkets for the first time in almost ten years, a stark contrast to the last three when it has been without any.

Stanmore Society chairman Tony Raymond said: "This is good news for the people of Stanmore, I just hope that it will not put Sainsbury's off."

And a spokesman for the Brent and Harrow Chamber of Commerce said: "Obviously we are delighted. The building has been a big hole in the shopping area and this will be of great benefit to the community."

Leicestershire-based Lidl will create up to 25 jobs. The chain sells mainly own-brand goods but stocks some high street names. It says of itself: "Our culture is lean and commercially driven."

Its arrival has come as a surprise to many people, including planning officers because, as the site was formerly a supermarket, the company did not need to submit a planning application.

Sainsbury's, which will be displaying plans for its own store on the former AA site also on The Broadway later this month, has confirmed that the news will not deter it.

A spokesman said: "It is competition but it is good for the customer because it keeps everybody on their toes."

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000.Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.