MALMESBURY Town Councillors failed to reach a verdict on whether they would support the Aldi application at their latest planning meeting.

Councillors met on Tuesday night, (August 7) spending almost two hours discussing the application, before failing to come to a decision.

Members of the council felt too much key information was missing for them to come to a decision and have requested further information by Aldi before they come to a view on the application.

The council did come to an agreement on a proposal, to request to have the Aldi and Lidl applications considered together.

This will be put forward to for a Northern Area planning meeting, who will discuss the idea and come to a decision on whether this would be allowed.

Here are the points that councillors raised in the meeting.

  • Aldi failed to submit their own retail impact assessment

Aldi failed to provide any evidence or statistics regarding linked trips to the town and failed to submit their own retail impact assessment.

This is the percentage of linked trips to the town centre generated by the new store, in this case Aldi.

In the town, Waitrose has a percentage of 17% and Co-op has a percentage of linked trips to the town of 14%.

In their application Lidl believe they will also have a percentage of 14%, whereas Aldi failed to provide any data.

  • How many jobs would be gained by Aldi?

Councillors then questioned how many jobs would be created by Aldi.

Aldi have said that there 40 jobs would be created by the development.

Councillors noted how Aldi failed to mention how many jobs would be lost with the removal of the garden centre, and not mentioned the net gain of jobs the development would bring.

  • What else could be built on the site if Aldi were to go ahead?

The site is currently marked for B1, B2 and B8 usage- which means the site has to be used for business, general industrial and storage or distribution.

Councillors argued as garden centre sells items, it could be classified as A1 - shops and retail.

They want to know how much of the site is in fact A1.

If the whole site was A1, councillors discussed the risk that big named retailers such as McDonalds, could build there, having a negative impact on foodies in the town.

  • Traffic measures

Councillors were less concerned with traffic access at the site, with a roundabout already in place at the garden centre, which they thought would be able to deal with added traffic.

However, they were concerned with traffic for Filands view residents.

They noted how the entrance to the estate was already restricted and seen as 'substandard'.

Added traffic flow from the proposed site could worsen the current situation.

Councillors questioned whether the developers could introduce a roundabout outside the estate to slow traffic down and make it easier for residents to use, or whether any other measures could be implemented that could help.

  • Site access

A problem councillors did find with the proposal was the access and crossing the the Aldi store.

They found no safe crossing to the site for Filands residents and Dyson employees on foot.

Councillors also failed to identify a safe route for Milbourne residents, that included a section of the walk without a pavement.

  • Bus stop in the car park

A proposal was made in the meeting, to introduce a bus stop in the Aldi car park, that would make access to and from the town easier for residents.

  • Affect on businesses in Malmesbury

Aldi did not include any plans for a bakery or cafe in store.

Milk bread and more will be provided by locally sourced produce.

Councillors questioned whether or not that would have an affect on businesses in the town such as bakeries and butchers.

  • Can the town support both Lidl and Aldi?

Throughout the meeting they were reminded to view it separately to the Lidl application.

However they did question whether the town could support both Lidl and Aldi if they were both permitted.

If both shops were to be built, would it have a negative impact on other shops in the town and make them less sustainable.

The council did come to an agreement on a proposal, to request to have the applications considered together- such as the Sainsbury’s and Waitrose applications back in 2012.

This will be put forward to the Northern Area planning who will discuss the idea and will come to a decision on whether this would be allowed.

A date for this decision has not yet been made.

  • Malmesbury Town Council's stance on Aldi

Malmesbury Town Council wish to comment on the application, and want further information provided by Aldi on the comments made in the meeting.

Once they have that information they will then be in a place where they can give their view on the proposed development.