SPECULATION is mounting that Lidl plans to knock down one of its stores in Taunton and replace it with bigger premises.

Staff have been telling customers at the Roman Road outlet that the company wants to buy the neighbouring Six Acres Resources Centre site.

They say the discount supermarket would then replace the existing store with a larger new build one.

Lidl and Six Acres owner Somerset County Council have declined to confirm the report, although the authority has said an unnamed business has approached it with a view to buying the site.

A County Hall spokesman said: "A business has expressed an interest in buying the Six Acres site in Taunton and discussions are continuing.

"Until they are concluded - one way or another - we would not comment on the identity of the interested party.

"Working in tandem with Discovery - (which supports people with learning disabilities and autism to get more from life - we are committed to a more inclusive, creative approach to day services.

"More than half of the people making use of Six Acres are already being supported in different, community-based ways and we are confident that all will be by the end of March.

"Regardless of the outcome of the current discussions with a potential buyer, we believe that this is the right way forward - giving people more varied and inclusive options for day care."

The financially-challenged council announced it was closing Six Acres, which offers support for more than 90 vulnerable people, as part of raft of millions of pounds of cuts.

Lidl would need planning consent from Taunton Deane Borough Council if it did buy the land and intended to build a new store.

A company spokesman recently told the County Gazette: "You would need to liaise with the council and the existing occupier of the premises regarding any specific plans they have to sell the site.

"However, there is no agreement in place for Lidl to purchase it."

Lidl has another store across town in Castle Street that opened in December 2015 and replaced the former outlet in Wood Street, which was demolished. There are proposals to build retirement apartments on the site.