A SUPERMARKET chain has been given the go-ahead for a new store in Moreton-in-Marsh, promising 35 jobs for residents.
Aldi Foodstores Ltd’s proposal for a branch on Fosseway Farm was permitted by members of Cotswold District Council’s planning committee at a meeting on Wednesday, May 10.
The new supermarket is expected to be opened before the end of the year.
A previous application for a supermarket was permitted in December 2013, with Waitrose initially showing an interest, before dropping the plans.
Instead, a leaflet from Aldi was sent to 2,000 residents asking for their thoughts on the lower price bracket supermarket coming to their town instead.
Aldi's revised plan is around 70 per cent the size of the previous one.
Cllr Michael Lucas, of Moreton Town Council, told the planning committee, “behind this apparent façade of affluence” in the town, “there is a sizeable level of rural deprivation”.
He said, according to national statistics, 69 per cent of the population falls within categories C1, C2 and D3.
“Which places Moreton in the second highest level of deprivation for income, deprivation income effecting children and mix multiple deprivation index,” he said.
“The need for a supermarket in a price bracket catering for such a large percentage of the population should be unquestioned,” he added.
A spokesman, representing agents Planning Potential, told the committee that parking at the site would also be “flexible” with the “hope that people will park at Aldi and walk into town to complete their shopping” if they wish.
The land was previously used as a caravan site and currently has a house which will be demolished to make room for the supermarket.
The store will not extend as far back into the AONB as the original design.
However, Cllr Alison Coggins, CDC ward member for Moreton West, said “the current proposal falls well short” of what is expected by residents.
She said the original design, though bigger, was more “subtle”, while the current one “encroaches further towards the Fosseway” and “would look comfortable on a purpose-built industrial estate”.
Cllr Robert Dutton, who represents Moreton East, said he felt the “major flaw with this application is the entrance and the impact on the A429”.
“A new feature of this application, which didn't exist before, is that we can see a major road running between the supermarket and the hospital into this new area of land at the back.”
He went on to say that “at certain times there could be traffic on that road, which will put more pressure on the highway”.
“It is totally ridiculous to have the A429 as a two-way road with people doing right turns into a supermarket with lorries from the supermarket turning left having to sweep out across the highway, when there is plenty of space to have a proper junction there,” he added.
Despite concerns from the ward members, Cllr Robin Hughes proposed the committee accept case officer Martin Perks’ recommendation to permit that application.