Aldi launches appeal over Whitchurch store rejection
Supermarket giant Aldi is appealing after its plans for a store in Whitchurch were rejected.
Aldi had hoped to build a supermarket on Wrexham Road.
But the plans were refused by Shropshire Council’s North Planning Committee in January because of the adverse impact it would have on the town centre.
Now, six months later, the German discount retailer has launched an appeal in a bid to overturn that decision.
David Delaney, of Aaron and Partners Solicitors, acting on behalf of Aldi, said the company did not agree with the committee’s conclusion, having agreed a series of measures.
These included a private Aldi shopper pick-up club bus, £10,000 towards town centre management, signage from the town centre to the Shropshire Union Canal, and a highways contribution.
Mr Delaney added: “The Whitchurch town centre contribution is not specific as to how the monies are to be utilised and believe the council will be agreeable to that approach.
“It is our client’s expectation that the contribution will be paid into a fund to manage the town centre to be spent alongside other monies held for that purpose.”
As part of the proceedings, Aldi has requested an inquiry which is expected to last a week and would take place in September.
The original planning application was submitted in March 2017 and received over 120 comments of support from the public.
But it also received objections from 17 members of the public – four of which support the proposal but not on Wrexham Road.
Further objections came from bodies such as the Canal and River Trust, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Whitchurch Town Council, while rival supermarket Lidl raised strong concerns on the impact it would have on its own Whitchurch branch.
Lidl bosses said it would be “catastrophic” and could lead to the closure of its Bridgewater Street store.
The final decision will rest with the Government’s planning inspectorate.
By Emily Lloyd, local democracy reporter