Aldi and Lidl are eyeing five times as many new store openings as their big four rivals combined as the duo ramp up their UK expansion.

Discounters Aldi and Lidl have submitted 171 planning applications between them to build new supermarkets across the country. Aldi has filed 93 applications while its rival Lidl has lodged 78.

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have filed just 29 applications between them, according to figures compiled by Barbour ABI for The Sunday Telegraph.

Barbour ABI lead economist Michael Dall said: “This data further confirms the changing dynamics within the food retail market in the UK.

“Only five years ago these figures would have been dominated by the big four but Aldi and Lidl are now the major players in the construction of new food retail space.

“Of course, the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s still hold the greater market share, but their position of power continues to be challenged by the expansion plans of the discount stores.”

Aldi and Lidl’s expansion comes as the big four scale back on the ‘space race’ following falling sales and profits, sparked by changing shopper habits, food deflation and the supermarket price war.

At the start of this year, Tesco revealed plans to close 43 stores and scrap plans for 49 new developments. Earlier this month it mothballed 14 of its supermarket development sites and sold the land to property fund Meyer Bergman.

Asda is slowing its London expansion to revamp its existing store estate, while Sainsbury’s is trialling new convenience store and supermarket formats in a bid to drive sales and footfall.

Morrisons is shutting 11 supermarkets and has also sold its c-store business to convenience veteran Mike Greene’s My Local.