Aldi says it is “extremely disappointed” planning officers have recommended refusing a new store in Newport, claiming there is “significant local support” for the plans.
The discount supermarket wants to open a new store on the site of the former R.J. Mason Transport Yard in Albany Street, Crindau.
Under the plans, Aldi’s existing store on Barrack Hill in the city would be closed and potentially re-let.
But the plans have been recommended for refusal, with concerns over the retail impact of the proposed relocation.
Aldi says it has been looking to relocate from Barrack Hill for more than 10 years and that the new site would allow “much improved parking, access and store design.”
Concerns over the accessibility of the proposed site by walking or public transport have been raised, along with the retail impact of the relocation.
The Aldi in Barrack Hill is the only significant food store in the Malpas Road district centre and closing it would result in the loss of £17.8m of expenditure within the district centre, it is estimated.
Rival supermarket Sainsbury’s, which has a store on Albany Street close to the proposed new store’s location, has also objected.
Aldi says it is “fully committed to working with planning officers” to resolve concerns and is asking councillors to defer its decision on the proposals on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for Aldi said: “We are very disappointed that, despite overwhelming public support for a new Aldi for the Crindau area, council officers are recommending that our application should be refused.
“We have carefully developed proposals which solve the problems of the existing Barrack Hill store, to provide a bright, modern, new building, and create up to 15 new jobs.
“This represents a multi-million pound investment in the area, refusing planning permission is saying no to this fantastic opportunity.”
The supermarket claims 80 per cent of people support the plans, with many shoppers believing the existing site is unsuitable due to parking and access constraints, and lack of room to expand the current store.
Moving to an alternative site is the “only option available to continue servicing the shopping needs of the immediate local area and address ongoing issues with the existing store,” Aldi says.
Natural Resources Wales have also objected due to the proposed site being within a floodplain.
The access to the site – from the Sainsbury’s roundabout for customers and from Albany Street for deliveries – is also judged to be ‘unsafe’, according to a planning report.
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A spokeswoman for Aldi added: “Some of the officer’s reasons for refusal were surprising, given Aldi had previously responded to these concerns but then received no further response from officers.
“Aldi would like more time to respond to these and work with the council to resolve any issues.”
The application is going before the planning committee on Wednesday (January 5).