Lidl is facing a backlash as it prepares to submit a planning application for a new store in the affluent Hertfordshire town of Berkhamsted.

More than 100 locals have now signed an online petition against the discounter’s plans to open a 13,000 sq ft store that would create 40 jobs.

In the petition, which is addressed to Berkhamsted Town Council, creator Cathie George said: “This overcrowded town doesn’t need another supermarket but a school or doctors.” Another local posted: “We don’t want to lower the tone of the town with a Lidl.”

Berkhamsted already has a Waitrose and Tesco Metro. M&S is set to open a Simply Food store next month - a move which has seen no resistance from locals.

However, Lidl insisted it had the support of over 70% of locals following a public consultation day last week and said it would submit the application by May.

“We have seen great success from opening stores in particularly affluent areas such as Dorking and Sevenoaks, which shows that Lidl has developed an increasingly broad appeal to the British people,” said a Lidl spokeswoman.