Published:
May 4, 2017
New Highbridge Aldi store recommended for approval as decision nears

A decision on whether a proposed new Aldi supermarket in Highbridge gets the go-ahead will be made next week - with a case officer recommending it be given approval.

The firm's planning application will be considered by Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee on Tuesday May 9th.

Dawn de Vries, the case officer overseeing Aldi's plan for a new store in Bennett Road, at the northern end of the Isleport Industrial Park, has recommended in a report to councillors this week that the scheme is granted approval.

Dozens of residents have written to the council in support of the Aldi's plans, but shop owners, town councillors and the Chamber of Trade in Burnham-On-Sea are worried about the impact of the store on trade.

Aldi's own forecasts are for a 19.4% drop-off of trade at Lidl in Burnham if the new store wins approval, and the Chamber of Trade is concerned that this may also result in a reduction of footfall in the town centre.

As first reported here, town councillors and businesses are concerned that the proposed store would severely hit trade in Burnham and Highbridge. Concerns have been raised by the Chamber, supported by over 60 local businesses.

Aldi's own research indicates that Lidl in Burnham could lose 19.4% of its trade due to the proposed new store on the Isleport Industrial estate.

And Aldi's research also shows that existing Burnham town centre stores that sell competing goods may lose 7.3% of their trade, threatening the viability of the town centre, it is claimed, which has already suffered a decline in footfall since the closure of Morrisons in 2015.

An Aldi spokesperson told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "An Aldi store would represent a multi-million pound investment in Highbridge, providing more shopping choice and making shopping and saving easier for local people, who currently travel to other supermarkets."

"We consulted local people before submitting a planning application and the responses highlighted that the vast majority of the local community are delighted to hear an Aldi could soon be opening near them."

"An Aldi store would represent a multi-million pound investment in Highbridge, providing more shopping choice and making shopping and saving easier for local people, who currently travel to other supermarkets."

One local resident, Graham Hardes, says: "This store will be a great asset to the people of the local area and give them more choice of where to shop."

 


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