Aldi denies new Whitchurch shop would hurt trade
A supermarket chain has dismissed fears building a new store will harm trade in a town centre.
Aldi said it expects business in the town centre to remain strong if it gets planning permission to build a new store on the outskirts of Whitchurch, off Wrexham Road.
It comes after fears from people thatn the town existing businesses will lose out on trade if a new supermarket is built out-of-town.
Joanna Gabrilatsou, on behalf of Aldi, said: “The application site remains sequentially preferable for the proposed development and passes the sequential test.
“The applicant has commissioned a household survey. The findings of the assessment demonstrate that Whitchurch town centre is performing above benchmark levels and in particular the Lidl store is trading particularly well.
“The impact assessment has been updated and demonstrates that the overall impact on the town centre will be minus -14.89 per cent.
“Town centre performance is expected to remain strong with residual turnover following the proposed development remaining above benchmark levels. The household survey also shows that Whitchurch town centre is well used for a range of activities including non-food shopping, services, visiting eating and drinking establishments and healthcare services, among others, with some two thirds of residents within the catchment area visiting the centre at least once a week.
“It is considered Whitchurch town centre is performing well and will continue to do so after the proposed development is implemented.
“Indeed, JLL also maintains that the proposal will not result in adverse harm to the existing investment in the town as the proposal is not expected to result in the closure of any convenience operators or other operators.
“In particular, whilst the proposal may draw trade from the Lidl store, the Lidl store will continue to perform exceptionally well. There is no known committed and planned investment for the town centre that JLL is aware of.”
Aldi said the new store could create up to 40 permanent full and part-time jobs for local people, in addition to roles during construction and supply-chain opportunities created by the shop being built.
Meanwhile, the Canal & River Trust has reiterated its objections to the proposal for the new store. Spokeswoman Anne Denby said: “The trust has reviewed the amended/additional information which provides some further justification for the building and proposes the introduction of timber cladding to the canal elevation of the proposed foodstore to reduce its visual impact.
“The details do not address the concerns of the trust and we therefore reiterate the concerns in our response to the application dated April 18 and consider that planning permission should not be granted as the proposed building, due to its height, design and proximity to the canal would be visually intrusive when viewed from the canal corridor and adversely impact on its heritage and wider landscaped character.”