A NEW Lidl store could be built at the site of a derelict garden centre, it is understood.

Earlier this week, the discount supermarket giants announced that they would be opening a branch in Bromley Cross within the next three years.

It is part of expansion plans to open ten new stores across Greater Manchester — creating approximately 400 new jobs.

The Bolton News understands that the former Holland Gardening Centre, off Darwen Road, is Lidl’s preferred location.

It is understood that negotiations are still ongoing and that there would be a large public consultation before any decision is made on whether the store would be built on that site.

Bromley Cross councillors remained tight-lipped after Lidl’s announcement appeared to take them by surprise.

Nick Harvey, regional head of property at Lidl, said: “Since opening our very first store in Britain in 1994, we’ve opened 30 Lidl stores across Greater Manchester, providing communities with quality products at prices that make them affordable and accessible for everyone. As customer demand for the Lidl offering continues to grow in Manchester, we’re excited and proud to be in a position to continue opening new stores and creating more employment opportunities across the region.”

In recent years, Holland garden centre has been targeted by vandals, with a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour and youths starting fires. In September, 2014 a vision was unveiled for a multi-million pound sports village, including all-weather pitches and a gym, as well as an Aldi supermarket and a Touchwood restaurant.

Two years ago the site was included in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework plans for house building. It raised fears that up to 300 homes could be built on the green belt site.

In June 2016, the land’s receiver, David Currie who was appointed by the by-then liquidated Hollands business, said he had entered the site into the framework ‘as a back-up plan’ and the site has not been identified for housing in the revised version of the Spatial Framework.