Plans approved for a new Aldi supermarket on the edge of Lutterworth - creating 40 jobs

The council’s planning committee voted by eight to one to back the Rugby Road scheme at a ‘virtual’ meeting on Tuesday night

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 5:14 pm
Aldi has got the go-aheadto build a new 5 million superstore on the edge of Lutterworth  and create 40 jobs.
Aldi has got the go-aheadto build a new 5 million superstore on the edge of Lutterworth and create 40 jobs.

Aldi has got the go-ahead to build a new £5 million superstore on the edge of Lutterworth – and create 40 jobs.

The German-owned supermarket has been given the green light by Harborough District Council to set up shop near the iconic Sir Frank Whittle roundabout.

The council’s planning committee voted by eight to one to back the Rugby Road store – which should be opened in 2021 - at a ‘virtual’ meeting.

Aldi filed a new rejigged blueprint after holding months of high-level talks with council planning officers and outside experts in a bid to push it through.

The fast-growing company acted after Harborough council received objections from local people as well as rival retailers and Lutterworth Town Council.

Opposing the initiative, local resident Richard Nunn told the meeting by phone because of the lockdown: “If it goes ahead this will cause potential traffic issues.”

Mr Nunn warned Aldi’s application had to be looked at alongside the proposed huge new nearby development at Lutterworth East.

He said the new store, to be built in open fields, would be an “out of character” building sitting at the crucial gateway to Lutterworth.

But Ken Seymour, who also lives locally, said he “whole-heartedly” supported the major retail proposal.

Mr Seymour said the Aldi outlet would give people far greater food choice, ramp up business “footfall” in the town from outside and create 40 new jobs.

Robin Williams, Aldi’s regional Midlands property director, said 78 per cent of local people polled had supported the new shop.

He denied they would have a “negative impact” on Lutterworth town centre while generating “considerable benefits” for the community.

Cllr Paul Beadle, of Lutterworth Town Council, argued the scheme breached the local plan.

He said the proposed store would make the A426 busier and “hamper efforts” to rejuvenate Lutterworth town centre.

“This would disregard the best interests of our town,” declared Cllr Beadle.

But the committee overwhelmingly endorsed their planning officers’ recommendation and approved the new Aldi superstore.

Only Cllr Janette Ackerley, a Conservative councillor representing Lutterworth East, broke ranks to vote against the move.

An Aldi spokesman said: “The new store has been carefully designed to offer a modern shopping environment.

“It will improve local choice, enabling the town to benefit from Aldi’s unrivalled value-for-money range of high-quality products.

“Aldi will be providing a new area of green space adjacent to the new store with a looping path, seating and areas of wildflower, meadow, and trees with views of the River Swift.”

He added: “We’re delighted with the outcome of the committee meeting.

“Our nearest existing stores are over four miles away in Broughton Astley and Rugby.

“We are confident that increasing our offering to this location will reduce the need for residents to travel out of the area to complete food shopping and help to retain spending in the town.

“Now more than ever it is important that people have access to affordable food shopping.

“We look forward to providing a low-cost alternative to the people of Lutterworth, with a target to open the store in 2021.”

He said that “employment opportunities” will be advertised in the coming months, both locally and via the recruitment website, www.aldirecruitment.co.ukIf you would like further information regarding the store they can call the Freephone project information line on 0800 298 7040.