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Fate of Aldi supermarket plans for Bristol Road to be decided

By citizenmike  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Public Affairs reporter

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Aldi's plans

Comments (14)

ALDI bosses will be hoping that their plans for a new supermarket in Bristol Road will get the go-ahead at a meeting of councillors on Tuesday.

The cut-price German supermarket is eyeing up a site on the corner of Bristol Road and Clifton Road, near to the former Morelands match factory.

Gloucester City Council’s planning committee will decide the fate of the 1,680 sq m planned store next week.

A spokesman for Aldi said that it would offer ‘something different’ for a part of the city which does not currently have a large supermarket – although the site is less than half a mile from Sainsbury's at St Ann Way and Tesco Express in Bristol Road.

They said: “We offer something different to convenience stores and do not see ourselves competing with these types of shops.”

The nearest rival to the supermarket would be Lidl, further down Bristol Road in Canada Wharf, although nearby convenience store Griffin’s Friendly Corner Shop fear it will impact on their business.

The plans have polarised people who live near the store – with a 577-strong petition and 58 individual letters being sent to councillors.

Supporters say that the store would benefit the Stroud Road and Bristol Road community, the site has been an eyesore for more than 20 years and the cost of shopping at Aldi is attractive in a time when people are hard-pressed.

People also want to see new jobs created, although it is currently unclear how many might be created.

Those against the plans say they will affect trade for other businesses and there is no proven need for a new supermarket in the area.

Town crier Alan Myatt has come out in support of Griffin’s Friendly Corner Shop, which is just 150 metres from the proposed Aldi.

There are fears that the new supermarket could hit trade at the popular convenience store, which has been run for five generations of the family.

Mr Myatt, speaking in a personal capacity, said: “The Griffin’s Friendly Corner Shop has been a lifeblood of the community for generations.

“The jam will only spread so thinly in this area and it is important that we protect our family-run businesses as they are part of our city’s heritage.”

Residents have shown their support for the convenience store. Janet Weston said: “Even though there is a local Tesco Express and Lidl close by, it is very sad that there has to be yet another big store going up putting the small businesses at risk. Last year I believe Griffin’s celebrated 100 years of trade and I have shopped there for over 30 years. There is nothing that hurts me more then to see someone lose their business to big companies like Aldi.”

Jalaal Patel, from Stroud Road, said: “There are too many supermarkets and grocery store in Gloucester. What happened to protecting local small businesses such as corner shops? Has Gloucester gone corporate mad?”

But planning officers are recommending that councillors approve Aldi’s store vision.

In a report to councillors, Bob Rustic, planning officer at Gloucester City Council, said: “The application has been met by considerable objection and petitions on behalf of Griffin’s Corner Shop. The concerns relate to the possible impact upon this convenience store, which appears to be well supported by the community. In planning terms it should be noted that this property is itself located outside of a local centre and is not afforded any protection.”

Supermarket bosses also have to prove that their new Aldi store will not impact on other areas such as the proposed Kings Quarter regeneration site.

Planning officers at Gloucester City Council have concluded that it will not have an impact because only one small food store is planning for Kings Quarter.

In a report they said: “We conclude that there is unlikely to be a suitable opportunity within the development to accommodate an Aldi store.”

Aldi said they had ruled out moving into the former Marks and Spencer store, in Northgate Street, because it was too big and delivery access was poor – but planning officers do not agree with that argument because M&S formerly sold food from the site.

Alternative sites at Blackfriars and Barton Street were also ruled out as possible locations for Aldi to move to.

The supermarket already has a store on Bristol Road, in Quedgeley.

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14 comments

  • Kay_Powell  |  March 31 2014, 10:52PM

    It's Stroud that doesn't allow public speakers. Gloucester allows five minutes each for speakers for and against. I spoke at the last meeting - not that it did any good!

    |   -23
  • Will94  |  March 31 2014, 8:50PM

    I think you will find that there is no chance for anyone to speak/comment at a planning meeting ...

  • Kay_Powell  |  March 31 2014, 12:11AM

    GlosAnarchy, are you saying that you will be speaking at the meeting? Are you for or against?

    |   -19
  • North Glos EPC  |  March 30 2014, 7:18PM

    I've nothing against Aldi but don't we have quite a few supermarkets already? How about using the site for some tastefully designed affordable apartments to ease the desperate housing need we're continually told exists. Won't have to concrete over so many green fields then, won't have to add so much to flood risk in some areas then, better idea all round to my mind.

  • Will94  |  March 30 2014, 5:37PM

    Surely this can only be good for Gloucester? that piece of land is a real eyesore! That area is gateway to the city and the docks. How can millions of pounds be invested in the Docks and the city yet Southgate street and Bristol road look so unappealing. I agree with villager 1950 hopefully all the customers who signed the petition for Griffin stores remain loyal, and their business would not be affected. Aldi offers good value for those of us on a budget and no one does their weekly family shop in a small convience shop and we all have choices not to shop in supermarkets. If home bargains is like the one in Cheltenham then its not a supermarket its more like an upmarket pound shop! and we have plenty of those in the city!

  • GlosN  |  March 29 2014, 8:10AM

    Dreadful looking building. How depressing!

  • GlosAnarchy  |  March 28 2014, 11:14PM

    I love the way ppl have complained but how many like me have been asked if we would like to talk at the meeting, oops you didn't ask did you!

    |   -27
  • jas37  |  March 28 2014, 10:36PM

    If this application is granted an investigation into the City Council Planning dep't must surely take place. The fact that the Planning Officers have recommended approval sounds suspicious considering the recent refusal of the Home Bargains/Peel application. On top of that the Bristol road frontage of the Building looks bland to the point of plain ugly. I suspect that this application will put the Planners more under the microscope than the application itself.

  • jackson99  |  March 28 2014, 10:13PM

    Nice to see our Council pushing for high quality building design

  • Villager1950  |  March 28 2014, 10:12PM

    If Griffin's Corner Shop is so well supported, what's the problem? Surely their loyal customers will not desert them and shop at Aldi? The same arguments were used in the Industrial Revolution by the Luddites. If you don't like supermarkets, it's simple; don't use them and because of your principles pay more for your groceries.

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