Work starts on new Shrewsbury Aldi store which will replace existing supermarket
Work has started on building a new Aldi supermarket on the outskirts of Shrewsbury.
Our pictures show earth movers on the site off the huge Battlefield roundabout to the north of the town.
After getting planning permission in March, the company is replacing its 960 square metre building in Arlington Way with a store 400 sq-m larger, to allow for wider aisles and more tills to reduce congestion and queuing.
Aldi representatives have said the plan will retain all 25 jobs at Arlington Way and create 15 new vacancies, generating £1 million in wages annually.
The new supermarket would be accessed via a new junction off Battlefield Road, which would be widened to create a right-turn lane in an effort to avoid disrupting traffic flow.
The site was previously earmarked for a Miller & Carter steakhouse, Costa drive-through, Premier Inn and shop units.
Councillors had expressed their concerns that the increased traffic could lead to "roundabout-to-roundabout" queues.
But speaking at a Shropshire Council meeting last year, George Brown, Aldi’s regional property director explained the reason for the proposed relocation.
He said: “Aldi has been part of the community in Shrewsbury since Arlington Way opened in 1992.
“An increase in customer needs has resulted in the need for more tills and wider aisles.
“While we were able to extend the store in 2006, it’s still 40 per cent smaller than our current design and can no longer accommodate the full range of products or customer demand.
“The store is at the end of its viable life and will need to close. The land area cannot accommodate a new build, so we have no other option than to relocate.”
Mr Brown said a legal agreement would ensure the Arlington Way site is marketed for employment use, excluding retail, for 10 years – effectively representing a “land swap” for the allocated employment site the new store will occupy.
An existing veteran oak tree and the public footpath crossing the site will be retained.
The site lies 265 metres from the registered battlefield associated with the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403, meaning a programme of archaeological work must be carried out to look for artefacts before construction can start.