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Aldi wins bid for new Bristol Road store

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 01, 2014

The proposed new Aldi store

Comments (8)

Discount supermarket Aldi has won its bid to open a new supermarket in Gloucester.

Controversial plans to build the new store on a vacant site at the junction of Bristol Road and Clifton Road were approved by Gloucester city councillors tonight.

Some 577 people signed a petition calling on the plans to be refused because of fears that it may impact on trade at the nearby Griffin’s Friendly Corner Shop, in Seymour Road.

But planning agent Dan Templeton, speaking on behalf of Aldi, said: “It is important to remember what the current state of the site is. We need to consider an alternative use for the site. This is a prominent site on a principle road into the city centre and it currently doesn’t make any contribution to the townscape.

“Aldi stores compete with other main stores and compete less so with other local stores and shopping centres.”

Rival supermarkets attempted to block the planned 1,600 sq m supermarket. Speaking at a packed meeting, Richard Holmes, representing Midcounties Co-operative, who run a store on Tredworth High Street, said: “A new Tesco in Churchdown has already taken 35% of trade away from my client’s store in that location. Small shops provide an invaluable service to communities especially to vulnerable or older people who struggle to get to the larger stores. This store would undoubtedly have an impact.”

Councillor Mark Hobbs (L, Moreland) said: “I am concerned about the impact on local amenities. During my time as a councillor I have seen community life being drained from this area.”

The design of the red-brick building has been widely criticised. But principal planning officer Gavin Jones said: “The application is in keeping with the local area. It is our officer’s view that it is of an acceptable design and is in keeping with the local characteristics. It is potentially not perfect but thought has gone into this and it is not just an out of the box supermarket.”

Councillors struggled to come to their ultimate decision to approve the plans. Six said yes to the plans but councillors Mark Hobbs, Anna Mozol and Tarren Randle. Councillor Gerald Dee abstained.

Councillor Mary Smith (L, Robinswood) said: “My heart says I want to vote against it but my head can’t think of a really good reason. The problem is that as far as we are concerned in planning law we have got no right to say no because it is unpopular”.

Councillor Gordon Taylor (C, Abbey) said: “The site looks awful and it brings the area down. Having a nice building there will help.”

Councillor Tarren Randle (C, Barnwood) said: “I know that the Griffin shop has been there for a long time and I support what they do in the community but this site has been empty for a long time.”

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  • Kay_Powell  |  April 02 2014, 3:48PM

    The nearest Co-op to the site is on Seymour Road, not High Street. The Tredworth shops are much too far away to be seriously affected by this new store (although I did hear them mentioned at the meeting). The shops in St. Paul's Parade could possibly be affected, but they aren't officially protected. The decision was taken according to the official planning policies, whatever you may think of them - and I think that some of them are unfair. Home Bargains should have been allowed its new store at the Peel Centre, but it failed the 'sequential test' I think.

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  • bonzaharris1  |  April 02 2014, 12:44PM

    Aldi sell good quality products for a reasonable cost, their fruit and veg is a lot cheaper than other supermarkets which make it more affordable to those on low incomes. and in the current climate with your shopping trolley costing more and more each time you shop, this has got to be a good thing. As people generally go to supermarkets to do a weekly shop I cannot see that it will affect Griffins corner shop too greatly, the main people who use it live nearby who will probably continue to use it as they always have, in the main for the bits and pieces they have forgotten or run short of. St Pauls School is opposite, I am sure they do a good trade in crisps, drinks and sweets there, and that will not change. The bottom line, is that people need to be able to buy good quality food at a reasonable price, Aldi provide that and if the other supermarkets don't like it, then perhaps they should up their game

  • Rexey  |  April 02 2014, 11:17AM

    I look forward to a very tatty area of Gloucester being enhanced with a brand new building

  • Salvo2304  |  April 02 2014, 9:22AM

    GlosAnarchy, the article did not say that the corner store is the nearest, it says that it may impact on their trade. it will also impact on the trade at the Co-op but that is a larger chain store which is more suited to competition. i have just had a read of other comments you put on other articles, maybe you should try lookin at our city in a different light and with a smile on your face. it may be good for your health and actually make you happy for once!

  • cosmicc  |  April 02 2014, 9:09AM

    Excellent news - and one in the eye for the New Street Mafia.

  • GlosAnarchy  |  April 02 2014, 7:40AM

    "Seymour Road"? could the editor please purchase a map, the nearest shop on Seymor Soad is the Co-op!

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  • ATTERS72  |  April 01 2014, 11:06PM

    I agree aldi should be there but then so should home bargains and the other units in the peel centre be allowed their planning permission/change of use . Don't Aldi sell a bit of everything ?

  • jas37  |  April 01 2014, 10:04PM

    Surely the time has come for an Inquiry into the City Council's Planning dep't. It's about time any hidden agendas were exposed.