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According to a recent survey of property prices in Leigh On Sea, house prices have fallen by 25% since the opening of a Lidl in Eastwood last December – an immediate campaign has been launched to get it converted into a Waitrose with a petition that has already gathered 75,000 signatures.
Local estate agent Marvin Sneer of Sneer and Sneer Estates in Leigh Broadway confirmed the findings to our Chief Reporter, and he said: ‘The good news is that Lidl are yet to open within the boundaries of Leigh On Sea – the impact on house prices would have been catastrophic. However, in the meantime, our immediate concern is that a new branch of the discount supermarket has opened in Eastwood, and this means that there are now two adjoining districts with a Lidl if you include Hadleigh. Chuck in the popular Aldi in Chalkwell and we have a perfect storm of factors that have had an incredible effect upon house prices in the area, and being within easy driving distance of so many low-level supermarkets has forced a worrying number of Leigh homeowners into negative equity.’
He added: ‘Even with the recent trouble, there has never been a better time to buy or sell a home in Leigh On Sea.’
Pauline Feltch purchased a one-bed flat in Percy Road for £875,000 in December 2014 so that her daughter could be in the West Leigh catchment area, and a recent valuation for £195,000 has left her feeling ‘angry and upset.’ She said: ‘I am supporting the campaign to get the Eastwood Lidl converted into a Waitrose, and I have also got together with a number of other Leigh homeowners to launch collective legal proceedings against the supermarket chain. We believe that we are all entitled to compensation amounting to the lost property value since the supermarket opened, and our main argument is that we had no idea that so many cheap supermarkets would be built at the time of purchase.’
According to a source within Lidl, the residents’ legal claims have ‘absolutely no grounds,’ but they also conceded that any affected homeowners would be given a voucher for 10% off a pack of Chorizo to ‘break the ice’ with a whole new retail audience.
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