Plans for a new Aldi store in Cheshire have been approved by councillors.
Aldi Stores Ltd’s application for a store in Westbrook, Warrington, came before the development management committee at its meeting on Wednesday.
It proposed the demolition of existing buildings at the vacant site last occupied by Arnold Clark, on Europa Boulevard, to pave the way for the construction of the food store. Committee member Cllr Brian Gallagher said he welcomed the application.
“It uses an existing site, which is good,” he said. “It reduces the carbon footprint for people to travel to get their shopping, which is good. It does give choice and it is competition, it creates 40 news jobs as well.”
But fellow committee member Cllr Mark Jervis said: “This is an employment area. We are short of employment space in Warrington and, therefore, to take away employment for retail use is harm and that should not be underestimated.”
He also stated that he does not think the application passes the ‘planning test’.
A total of 35 representations had been received in relation to the application, of which 33 letters were of support, one comment just stating no objection and one letter of objection. The application had been recommended for approval subject to conditions and a section 106 agreement for a highways contribution.
The existing on-site unit is vacant and was last occupied by Arnold Clark until it relocated to the opposite side of Europa Boulevard, in the former Toys R Us building, in 2021 following the opening of a new larger store there.
A report to the committee said the proposal results in a number of benefits including the provision of 40 new jobs and associated jobs in logistics, improvements to the pedestrian and cycling facilities in the area, increase in consumer choice and environmental benefits realised through the construction of the new store.
It also said there will also be public benefits in terms of additional socio-economic benefits as the application also represents an investment in the Warrington area by Aldi and has an economic value ‘in excess’ of £1 million per year in wages.