A plan by Lidl to build a new superstore and homes at Foots Cray has been quashed for a second time.

The supermarket giant’s proposal – which included demolishing their existing High Street store and an adjoining warehouse to build a new, larger shop and five townhouses – was heard at a meeting of Bexley’s planning board on Monday.

And while it received support from Sidcup ward members, dual-Orpington MP and Bexley councillor Gareth Bacon, and Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire, the majority of councillors agreed to dump the proposal.

Agents representing Lidl had earlier told the meeting the scheme would represent a multi-million pound investment in Foots Cray, as well as creating up to 40 new jobs.

However, Bexley Council officers urged councillors to reject the move – saying  the planning board couldn’t justify demolishing the warehouse, which is delegated as industrial space and protected under both local and London policy.

Cllr Richard Diment, speaking on behalf of his fellow Sidcup councillors, had urged colleagues to “use their judgement and lawful powers to approve this application”, adding the benefits of the scheme would overcome the loss of industrial floorspace.

He said members had to give “due consideration” on how likely it would be the warehouse – which has been vacant since 2017 – would be used again.

“Foots Cray is an isolated and in parts very deprived part of the borough,” he added, saying his constituents wanted the larger store.

In response, planning board member Cllr Val Clark said Lidl “has been very clever in motivating local support” but “to abandon industrial floor space of this size would have a knock-on effect through the borough”.

Her views were echoed by Cllr Nicola Taylor who said although she would like to see the redevelopment of Lidl, “changing the designation of this land has knock-on effects which are too much for the council to have”.

Cllr Peter Reader was left to sum up, saying he had “a considerable amount of sympathy to those wishing to bring this land back into use”.

“Obviously the prospect of regeneration, jobs and community benefit is undoubted. But I have no alternative but to weigh up this application on planning grounds alone,” he said.

He said the council’s own core strategy which seeks to protect the borough’s industrial land space gave him “little scope to argue with the officer’s recommendation”.

“We cannot escape the fact the site is designated as strategic industrial land in the London plan,” he added.

It saw councillors endorse council officer’s opinion the plans should be rejected, sending Lidl back to the drawing board for a third time.