A FORMER day centre in Taunton will be sold to the Lidl supermarket chain – who will demolish it and build a bigger store in its place.

The Six Acres Resource Centre on Roman Road was run by Discovery on behalf of Somerset County Council, and provided services for adults with learning disabilities.

The lease on the building expired on March 31, with service users being provided with other support and “true community inclusion” in alternative ways and at different venues.

The council confirmed on Friday (April 12) that part of the site would be sold to the German supermarket chain and redeveloped.

If planning permission is obtained, the existing Lidl store will be demolished and replaced with a larger one straddling both sites.

READ MORE: Council admits Taunton day centre may close before its replacement is ready

Charlie Field, from the council’s commercial and business development team, confirmed the sale on the council’s website.

He said the Six Acres site was “surplus to the council’s requirements” and selling off part of the 3,924 sq m site will “achieve a significant capital receipt”, which can be used to fund front-line services.

He elaborated: “Lidl UK’s proposals are to demolish their existing store and construct a new neighbourhood food store on the combined site, with a gross internal area of approximately 2,125 sq m (1,325 sq m net sales area), together with car parking, subject to planning permission.”

Around one-quarter of the Six Acres site will be sold to Lidl – but te council has not divulged how much it will sell the site for, citing commercial sensitivity.

Once the sale is complete, Lidl must submit a planning application within six months and will have “a limited period” to secure consent for the new store.

The company must pay for all costs associated with the development and the planning process, including contributions of up to £150,000 for local amenities.

The council expects planning permission to be granted by July, with Lidl to take vacant possession of the site by September.

The remainder of the site could be sold off, either in parts or as a whole, at a later date.

Mr Field added: “The Lidl sale is of only part of the site and there remain opportunities on the remainder.

“Further reviews will be undertaken on this to consider alternative use and the council’s requirements.”

READ MORE: "IT'S A TRAGEDY": Learning disability centre which caters for more than 90 people to close next year

Steve Veevers, the council’s strategic manager for commissioning, admitted on March 13 that there may be a gap in provision between Six Acres closing and a new venue being secured.

He said: “Discovery is in advanced discussions with a new community venue in Taunton.

“There might be a gap, and what we are looking at is for alternative community venues where people can be supporting during that gap.”

Mr Field added: “We have completed reviews of the care needs of everyone who receives support at Six Acres, and will work with them, their families and Discovery to find suitable, community-based and creative ways of meeting their needs.

“We will, in tandem with Discovery, explore options for buildings-based support in the local community for people that may need it, as well as encouraging tailored support that meets people’s need in the way that suits them.”