Aldi gets boost in bid for new Whitchurch store
Supermarket chain Aldi has received a major boost in its bid to create a new out-of-town store after Shropshire Council's highways officials said they had no objections to the plans.
Previously, the council's consultants Mouchel blamed their failure to support or object to the plans for a new store in Whitchurch on the supermarket for providing “insufficient detail”.
But the council's highways officials now said, following further discussions between the two parties, the matters previously raised have now been addressed.
Mark Wooton, Shropshire Council's north & central manager for developing highways, said: "From a highway aspect I consider that the highway matters raised initially have been satisfactorily addressed through both discussion and the submission of revised details.
"It is considered that any outstanding design matters can be dealt with by planning condition and as part of the Section 278 technical submission, in the event that planning permission is granted.
"The highway authority recognise that the site is located on the edge of town and therefore connectivity and accessibility issues have been raised by the town council.
"The highway authority note those concerns however it is not considered that a highway objection on theses grounds along would be sustainable.
"The highway authority therefore raise no objection to the granting of consent subject to conditions."
Whitchurch Town Council has called on Aldi to subsidise a new bus stop if it is allowed to build a new store.
It also doesn't want there to be any advertising boards on the rear of the proposed new store off Wrexham Road.
It comes after the council raised concerns that the proposal will have a negative effect on the small businesses in the town centre, and that the out-of-town store is not well connected to the town.
But Aldi claims Whitchurch town centre is performing well and will continue to do so if the supermarket is built.
Mr Wootton added: "The highway authority is supportive of the offer of Aldi to provide a ‘shopper bus’ in order to promote accessibility to the site."
Aldi said the new store would 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.
Shropshire Council is expected to make a decision on the proposal in the coming months.