Plans for a third Aldi in Chester are recommended for approval despite objections from residents as well as rival supermarket chains.
The retailer lodged a planning application in November, 2016, to demolish the Mercedes Benz dealership in Countess Way and erect a food store and car park in its place.
Upton ward councillor Jill Houlbrook called the application in for a committee decision because of residents’ concerns about traffic, overdevelopment and the fact the site is not in a recognised retail area.
In February Inchcape Mercedes Benz relocated to Cheshire Oaks freeing up the site although it is temporarily home to Range Rovers from Hunters Land Rover Chester in Sealand Road which is being redeveloped.
Aldi already has a store at nearby Bumpers Lane and a second outlet off Tarvin Road in Boughton.
The latest food store would be close to Blacon and the University of Chester student population and could prove a fearsome competitor for neighbouring supermarket Morrisons although it is Tesco and Asda who raised objections because of the proximity of their nearest stores.
The proposed food store has a gross floorspace of 1,887 square metres. Eighty per cent of the floor area would be dedicated to food and the remaining 20 per cent to non-food. There would be a 96-space car park.
Customer cars would enter via an existing bridge from Parkgate Road. All other vehicular movements, including delivery lorries and customer exiting, would be via Cousens Way leading to Gawer Park. The servicing area, within the food store building, is proposed towards the site’s eastern end.
More than 20 objections have been received with many concerns relating to traffic and highway safety, air and noise pollution, the impact on emergency vehicles and the fact Chester is already well served with supermarkets including two Aldis.
But the council highways officer concluded the scale of additional traffic likely to be generated would not over-burden the existing operation of the highway network.
In recommending approval, planning officer Bethany Brown said: “To conclude, the review of this application has considered a number of complicated issues. However, officers consider that the proposal is acceptable and compliant with relevant planning policies and provides a sustainable form of development. Approval of the application, subject to conditions, is recommended.”