SUPERMARKET giant Aldi has submitted fresh plans for a new store in New Milton after pledging it had “not given up” on the idea.
The German retail company had a planning application to develop a supermarket on Caird Avenue refused earlier this year but has now returned with a new version. It said the new store will create at least 30 new jobs.
Its earlier proposal on an out-of-town site in Caird Avenue, near Tesco, was turned down by just one vote by the NFDC planning committee in May.
At the time a spokesperson for Aldi said it was “very disappointed” but added: “We certainly haven’t given up on a site in New Milton.”
One of the main reasons the committee turned down the application was because it felt the store would be better built at the site of a former Co-op in Station Road.
It said the original plan for a supermarket to be created on land currently owned by New Milton Sand and Ballast had “insufficient” landscaping and the proposals for vehicle access to the site were not acceptable.
NFDC members also backed a planning officer’s recommendation that Aldi’s development did not satisfy the needs of the town.
The new application claims to have solved these problems and reiterated its argument that the former Co-op site, which has lain empty since being bought by Bradbeers in 2017, is not commercially viable as it does not have enough land to provide the 127 car parking spaces it is proposing.
In its submission, Aldi said a new priority T-junction onto Caird Avenue will be created for access to the 1,862-square metre store. There will also be a new pedestrian crossing.
Aldi also said it will contribute £20,000 towards improvements at the roundabout of Caird Avenue and the A337.
Landscaping for the site has been improved which the application said “addresses” the previous problems, and that it should now be granted permission.
It also said the new supermarket will not “compete” with existing local stores, including Morrisons, Lidl and Tesco, but will “complement” them.
It will also provide a “valuable contribution towards local shopping”.
Comments lodged with NFDC and on social media have largely welcomed the idea of a new Aldi in the town.
After news of the latest planning application was posted on Facebook, one local said: An Aldi store will be an asset to New Milton and adjacent towns and villages. Let’s all hope this application gets through planning this time.”
Another wrote: “This is fantastic news. It will be great to have an Aldi in the town.”