Supermarket chain Maxima, which operates four locations in the same part of Tartu's Annelinn District, has issued a challenge to competitor Lidl, seeking the repeal of the zoning plan for the latter chain's first store, to be located on Kalda tee, in court.
This challenge came as a surprise to city officials, as Maxima, the owner of the property adjacent to the site of the future Lidl store at Kalda 29, was involved in zoning plan proceedings, but the former issued no objections at the time, writes regional Tartu Postimees.
Kadri Valdre, senior lawyer at the City of Tartu's legal services, and Tartu City Secretary Jüri Mölder found that the city has been sucked into a competition war, as the complaint drawn up by law firm TGS Baltic, representing Maxima, leaves no room for doubt about that.
The complaint cites the fact that nine shopping centers already exist in Annelinn; Maxima also believes that a referendum should have been held during the planning stage, and the upholding of a zoning plan implemented there a few years prior should have been considered as well.
Mikk Lõhmus, the lawyer representing Maxima, said in an interview with Tartu Postimees considered the implementation of a new zoning plan to be strange in a situation in which the property was already subject to a zoning plan implemented in 2015; he also noted that Maxima found that the new plan conflicts with the prior development plan, as the site of the Lidl store was to be the location of companies serving neighborhood residents.
Indrek Ranniku, head of the City of Tartu's General Planning and Development Service, saw no conflict with the existing development plan, noting that the entire area is filled with retail and services properties.
Editor: Aili Vahtla