Re­jected for sec­ond time No to plan for Aldi store and nurs­ery

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By LEIGH BOOBYER

APLAN to build an Aldi store, nurs­ery and of­fice build­ings on the edge of Chel­tenham has been re­jected for the sec­ond time.

The ma­jor de­vel­op­ment was planned to be based off Grove­field Way, near the Arle Court Round­about, but mem­bers of Chel­tenham Bor­ough Coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee re­fused its ap­pli­ca­tion on the grounds that Ger­man dis­count store Aldi would spark more traf­fic and pol­lu­tion than the roads could han­dle.

Mem­bers of the com­mit­tee wel­comed the pro­posal to bring in more of­fice build­ings into Chel­tenham af­ter hear­ing the town is short of sites for more jobs.

But at the same time some coun­cil­lors were wary of the need of a new Aldi, when an Asda su­per­store is on land next door as well as the im­pact ex­tra traf­fic could have on the town.

The pro­posal was re­jected by a ma­jor­ity of four.

A re­vised ap­pli­ca­tion was sub­mit­ted to the coun­cil ear­lier this month to build a su­per­mar­ket, a child nurs­ery and of­fice build­ings af­ter an ini­tial ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected last De­cem- ber. In those up­dated plans, a driv­ethrough Costa Cof­fee had been dropped.

At last week’s plan­ning meet­ing, Lib­eral Demo­crat coun­cil­lor Mike Collins said he felt he was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing “deja vu”.

Mr Collins (Ben­hall and the Red­dings) said: “We are be­ing asked to ap­prove of­fice space we des­per­ately need, but only if we have a su­per­mar­ket we def­i­nitely don’t need.”

Fel­low Lib Dem coun­cil­lor Si­mon Wheeler echoed Mr Collins’ con­cerns.

Mr Wheeler (Hester’s Way) said: “Grove­field Way is grid­locked most of the day. Of­fice work­ers won’t cause must of an im­pact, but Aldi shop­pers will be com­ing and go­ing all day mak­ing it a 24/7 night­mare.”

How­ever, one coun­cil­lor, Paul Baker, said the “crit­i­cal is­sue is the lack of em­ploy­ment land in Chel­tenham”.

Mr Baker (LD, Charl­ton Park) claimed the town has lost more than “3,000sqm” of po­ten­tial of­fice space to res­i­den­tial.

Speak­ing be­fore the com­mit­tee, an of­fi­cial from Chel­tenham-based prop­erty con­sul­tancy firm Ridge, said there isn’t “any room to ex­pand” his busi­ness.

At the meet­ing, four peo­ple voted for de­vel­oper Hin­ton Prop­er­ties’ ap­pli­ca­tion to go ahead while eight voted against.

A coun­cil doc­u­ment said Bloor Homes and Ridge and Part­ners LLP were al­lo­cated of­fices on the Corinthian Park site.

The land is next to the Cotswold BMW deal­er­ship and close to the trad­ing park fea­tur­ing B&Q, Pets at Home and Home Bar­gains, as well as a KFC Drive Through, Har­vester restau­rant, and the Arle Court Park and Ride.

It is not known whether an ap­pli­ca­tion will be re-sub­mit­ted to the coun­cil. [email protected]­plc.com

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The site where the new store could have been built

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