Great news for Ormskirk – Asda won’t be opening a new store on Burscough Road.

No wonder many smaller shop keepers and people who live locally were breathing a sigh of relief when the news was announced.

Planning Inspector Karen Ridge heard the appeal in November at the Borough council offices.

In her report detailing why it had been rejected, she noted her concerns on the impact Asda would have on smaller local independent shops, which according to the Borough Council would have seen a 20% reduction in trading.

“The store would be likely to have significant adverse impact on two of the existing five town centre food stores as well as on independent retailers,” she said in her judgement released last week.

The only cloud on the horizon – will Lidl now progress plans to build a new store in Southport Road following the closure of the Comrades Club?

The answer is ‘yes’ according to a statement received by yesterday from its PR office in London.

Georgina Hall, the company’s PR manager said that the company feels there is a compelling case for the store – despite many local objections about traffic congestion on what is already a very busy road through the town.

Meanwhile, Focus and Halfords are not closing their stores, despite local rumours to the contrary.

Bill Grimsey, Chairman of Focus DIY rang ormskirk .gb from his north London home to say it was staying in Ormskirk – although moves are still active to ‘down size’ the store and split it with a retail partner.

“We’ve no plans to leave,” he said.

He said this had been effective in several cases – in Congleton, Cheshire they were now sharing with an M and S Simply Food for instance.

It was the same story for Halfords where a spokesman confirmed the store was safe – for now.

“We can confirm that we are not planning to vacate the store in the foreseeable future,” said Halfords PE co ordinator Sara Leung.