Second bid for New Milton Aldi store set to be rejected

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Aldi New Milton
A CGI of the proposals for the new Aldi on Caird Avenue

DISCOUNT retailer Aldi looks set to lose its second bid for a supermarket on the outskirts of New Milton because planners say a town-centre location would be a better fit.

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The German grocery chain resubmitted plans to build a store on a site known as Solent Industrial Estate on Caird Avenue – a short distance from the town’s Tesco superstore.

A previous application for the same site was narrowly rejected by New Forest District Council’s planning committee in May 2020 after its members were told an empty former Co-op store on Station Road would be a better location for the new supermarket.

However, the town centre site, which is owned by Bradbeers department store, has been branded unsuitable by the German retailer because it lacks suitable parking.

Now New Forest District Council’s planning committee is set to consider a revised bid for the Caird Avenue site, along with a recommendation from planning officers that the scheme be rejected for a second time.

In a report to the planning committee, which will meet virtually next Wednesday, planning officer Vivienne Baxter said officers were still unconvinced the vacated town centre Co-op site was unsuitable or unavailable as an alternative.

The report concluded the adjacent HSBC building at 87 Station Road was likely to become available in the next 12 months and this – combined with the Co-op building – would be adequate to accommodate the supermarket in a town centre location.

However, planning documents revealed the council’s own retail assessment demonstrated that Morrisons and smaller town-centre convenience stores would continue to be viable if the Caird Avenue plans were approved.

Also standing in the way of Aldi’s plans is the fact the Caird Avenue site has been allocated for employment use – not retail – as part of NFDC’s Local Plan, the keystone document for development in the district up to 2036.

This means the application must satisfy a “sequential test” and show Caird Avenue is the most suitable spot for the area’s needs.

New Milton Town Council recommended the plans be approved, and New Milton Residents Association also wrote in support, stating that 65% of its members backed the scheme compared with  29% who were opposed.

The application received 61 responses from the public with 50 of those writing in favour of permission, and 11 against.

Concerns included traffic problems in Caird Avenue, the impact on New Milton town centre, the litter generated and a lack of environmentally sustainable features.

Those in favour argued the proposal would create new jobs, benefit those living nearby, add competition, reduce food prices and benefit lower income families from Lymington who had limited access to discount supermarkets.

The planning report acknowledges that the previous reasons for refusal including the retail impact, design and materials, and contamination and landscaping concerns had now been overcome.  It will be debated on Wednesday by NFDC’s planning committee, which will be livestreamed on NFDC’s YouTube channel.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. aldi dont want to pay the RENT in the high street where as their site in caird avenue is likely to be freehold that they own so no rent

  2. Why refuse this? In these times wouldn’t it be better to bring this to new milton to bring job opportunities? Who’s to say the people who use this wouldn’t stop into the town for coffee. Wouldn’t that also bring more revenue into the town as well. Yes the car parking wouldn’t be sufficient in town have you ever seen how busy places like Aldi get. As for the space in town what happened to the great plans a certain shop had for it!!

  3. Car parking in town would not be adequate judging by the fact Lidl has since opening purchased bungalows to extend there car park. Hope Aldi does not give up in New Milton as I think it would be a great asset and also competition for Tesco. We have waited a long time for this store and do hope it will work out eventually.

  4. I think the store would bring more shoppers to the area who may also go to high street to spend. The old co op store would of been far better used as lower priced clothing/household store. Matalan or peacocks(if they were still trading) come to mind rather than the present owners. There is no where in new milton to buy childrens clothes.

  5. A new oALDIbwould certainly attract a lot of people to the area the one in Christchurch which I go to often has a full car park!

  6. Looks like another missed opportunity to boost choice in area.we are urged to shop locally to help businesses in the town, there’s only so much you can buy from all the charity shops or hairdressing establishments so it looks like more visits to Aldi in Christchurch.

  7. I thought they were trying to regenerate new milton not force people to go to somerford instead. Parking will be almost impossible on the highstreet. Looks like Aldi will give up completly if its rejected. Listen to the people. Planning officers think they no it all, what a shame.

  8. I don’t think Tesco would be too happy with the extra competition. Even Tesco wouldn’t try putting a major store in the town centre.

  9. Ray Golding
    If the majority of the residents are in favour of having an ALDI store in Caird avenue then it should definitely be approved, or what was the point in asking our opinion ??

  10. What is really surprising is the lack of responses to the planning application – 61 !

    To have another major player in New Milton would be great for all the reasons already mentioned – employment / providing shopping options – but most of all it triggers change.

    Why would Aldi want to invest in someone else’s old property – it is hardly a thing of beauty – the current owners have done little to it since buying it – perhaps an application to develop houses & flats in the rear car park would be better and to promote the retail units on the High Street a major fast food or pub chain ( or both ) would be of more benefit to them & the town.

    But for just 61 people to comment 9 & I was one of them i support) Is incredible.

    I do hope Aldi do come to town !

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