GERMAN retail giant Aldi has taken a step forward with plans for a major new supermarket in New Milton to rival a Tesco next door, as first revealed exclusively in the A&T.
An application for a 1,860-square metre premises has been submitted to New Forest District Council, with a decision expected early next year.
The scheme is for a one-hectare (2.6-acre) plot east of Caird Avenue which is projected to create up to 40 full and part-time jobs.
The access road to the new store, put forward for land currently owned by New Milton Sand and Ballast, would be opposite the Tesco car park, south of the roundabout.
Aldi would provide parking for 127 cars including five spaces for disabled drivers, plus two electric charging points. Opening hours would be 8am-10pm Monday-Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sundays.
The application said: “The site is currently vacant and offers a prime opportunity for development with desirable connections from Caird Avenue and the A337.
“Due to nearby housing, the proposed scheme must make considerations to minimise noise and disturbance to this boundary to the site.”
It said it would make use of an unused plot allocated for development and “maintain continued investment and jobs within the local area”.
It described the cantilevered canopy design of the single-storey building as a “crisp, modern look”.
In a 50-page transport assessment, Aldi predicted rush-hour traffic of 75 trips between 8am and 9am and 164 between 5pm and 6pm.
However, the company has been told to provide more information on its plans, including the exact amount of promised jobs, which in the planning documents varies between 30 and 40.
The number is among extra details and conditions requested by highways authority Hampshire County Council to judge the impact on the local road network from customers and deliveries.
A blanket tree preservation order covers the site which has trees on its western and southern boundaries.
The application is a sign of supermarket competition heating up locally, with Lidl – which has a store half mile away at the crossroads of the A337 and Barton Court Avenue – recently applying to BCP Council for a second store in Christchurch.
Aldi Stores Ltd said it is currently the fifth largest grocer in the country, having started trading in the UK in 1990. It now has a combined 700 stores in the UK and Ireland.
A decision from NFDC on the Aldi application in New Milton is scheduled by 1st January next year after the deadline for public comments on 17th November.