Aldi's plans to open a third supermarket in Chester have attracted plenty of supportive as well as critical comments from residents.
Aldi Stores UK Ltd have lodged a planning application with Cheshire West and Chester Council to demolish the Mercedes Benz dealership in Countess Way and erect a food store and parking in its place.
The car showroom is moving to Cheshire Oaks in 2017.
Aldi already has a store at nearby Bumpers Lane and a second outlet off Tarvin Road in Boughton.
The latest food store, representing a ‘multi-million pound investment’, would be close to Blacon and the University of Chester student population and could prove a fearsome competitor for neighbouring supermarket Morrisons.
Representations from members of the public posted on the CWaC website reveal plenty of support for the budget retailer but also concerns about the sheer number of supermarkets now serving Chester and fears over the traffic that would be generated by the business, which will feature a free 109-space car park.
Colin Rankin, of nearby Gawer Park, said: “There are currently four supermarkets within half a mile. Is there really a need for another one? This would have an enormous impact on the environment in the area as there would be an increase in pollution at a time we are all trying to decrease it.
“There would be serious safety issues with the access due to the close proximity of the petrol station. The increase in traffic congestion close to the roundabout, which is currently bad anyway, would also impact on the police coming from Blacon and their ability to respond to emergencies. We are also very close to the hospital and this could impact on the other emergency services.”
John Millett, also of Gawer Park, said: “I do not support this application. There are already a number of supermarkets in this area, including an Aldi store less than half a mile away. Building a supermarket in the proposed location will, in my view, constitute overdevelopment in a residential area with an unacceptable increase in traffic congestion, noise and atmospheric pollution.”
But Marie High, of Wordsworth Crescent, Blacon, is supportive.
She said: “I feel that a new food store in this part of Blacon would be ideal. It would save me going to the Greyhound Retail Park in bad weather as I am disabled and use a motobility scooter.”
Sarah Reynolds, of nearby Garth Drive, Chester, said: “I am really hopeful we get this store as it will be a low cost shopping option within walking distance. A real help to our family.”
Mrs Patricia Spain, of Wordsworth Crescent, Blacon, agreed: “This would be so much easier for me as I am an OAP and the buses run regular past this way. I think Aldi is the best.”
Former city councillor Gwyneth Cooper, of Balmoral Park, Chester, is worried about the proximity of Finchett’s Gutter, at the boundary of the proposed store.
She asked for a condition to be imposed to ensure the stream was screened sufficiently to stop waste materials from the proposed store, or customers, entering the water course.