Aldi application sparks controversy - The Leamington Observer

Aldi application sparks controversy

Leamington Editorial 18th Aug, 2021   0

ALDI is set to move to a new site in Leamington but it has sparked controversy.

The budget supermarket chain is looking to move from its current site on Queensway to the site of the former Mothercare store, part of Leamington Shopping Park, off Tachbrook Park Drive.

Aldi plans to demolish the old Mothercare store and build a replacement store based on the chain’s standard model.

The new site is only a stone’s throw from the existing store, but there have long been traffic problems on Queensway with shoppers waiting to turn right into the car park.

The new store, situated off the retail park roundabout, should alleviate that problem but concern has been raised about added congestion on Tachbrook Park Drive.

And the company has come in for criticism from the local Green Party over its contribution to cycleways.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) estimated £110,000 would be proportionate to the store’s generation of trips in the area.

But the applicant queried the contribution, suggesting suitable alternative cycle routes existed to serve the development.

WCC revised the amount to £64,000 based on an agreement that one of three routes was not directly necessary for the purposes of the development.

But Warwickshire Green Party leader Jonathan Chilvers believes the company should pay the full amount.

He said: “I’m very disappointed at Aldi’s approach.

“They were asked to make a very reasonable financial contribution to three small cycle links nearby which would make cycling and walking to their store safer and easier.

“Instead of paying up they’ve gone to extreme lengths, not to mention time and money, to avoid paying a comparatively small amount.

“They should just do the right thing and pay up.”

Aldi said it had worked closely with WCC.

A spokesperson said: “As part of our discussions with the highways department, we were initially asked to fund three cycle route improvements but on further investigation, the highways department and planning authority have now concluded that only two of these three schemes meet planning legislation and therefore Aldi are happy to fund those two schemes which will provide additional benefits to our customers and the wider community.

“Aldi will continue to work in partnership with local authorities to deliver legislation-compliant multi-million-pound investments in communities across Warwickshire, including here in Leamington.”

The application has been approved by Warwick District Council’s planning committee subject to various conditions.


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