A Lidl bit of progress for car dealership

Artist's impression of the new Lidl planned for Gossoms End in Berkhamsted
Artist's impression of the new Lidl planned for Gossoms End in Berkhamsted
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A family-run car dealership is moving on to pastures new after 41 years in Berkhamsted to make way for a Lidl supermarket.

On November 23 Roy Chapman Ltd will move from its Gossoms End site to the former Grovebury Cars garage on Western Road in Tring, which has been empty for a number of months.

Where the new Lidl will be built in Gossoms End, Berkhamsted

Where the new Lidl will be built in Gossoms End, Berkhamsted

Its former home on the corner of Billet Lane is set to be redeveloped into a Lidl store, the plans for which were given a green light by Dacorum Borough Council last year despite a residents’ petition against it.

A spokeman for the German budget supermarket chain was unable to give any firm start dates for construction, but Roy Chapman’s managing director Justine Chapman was happy to outline the changes on their side of the move.

She said she and her father Roy Chapman – who first set up the firm in 1974 with wife Anne – have made the ‘difficult’ decision not to renew the Ford franchise for the sale of new cars.

She added: “This means that, as a fully independent family-owned dealership, we can be even more competitive with our servicing costs and will continue with our ‘price match’ guarantee.

“Of course, we will be retaining our trained staff and diagnostic tools and therefore will continue to offer Ford servicing to manufacturer standard and we will continue as a Mazda specialist.”

The family reassured customers that the existing complementary services such as courtesy cars and free wash-and-vac will still remain, along with the same ‘friendly-faced staff’ but now it will be in a more easily-accessible location minutes from the A41.

The company has recruited two new members of staff in the form of a technician and MOT tester respectively.

The Roy Chapman site originally opened as a Peugeot dealership, then sold Austin Rover, Citroen and Mazda cars before falling under the Ford banner in 2009.

It is still a Mazda authorised repair centre and an all-makes vehicle service and MOT centre.

Speaking last year, Roy Chapman said: “The decision to relocate has been made with a heavy heart.

“Over the years, we have built a really solid reputation for good quality, friendly work within Berkhamsted and the surrounding villages and the residents have always been very supportive of our efforts.”