PLANS for an Aldi in Malmesbury have finally been approved, but one councillor has questioned why the German giant has not been asked to provide money to help the local business community as part of the agreement to build the supermarket.

Aldi has been granted full approval by Wiltshire Council to build a supermarket which would create 30 jobs , but the Section 106 agreement – which obliges developers to provide funds to mitigate the impact on the community caused by their project – does not include money for the Malmesbury Town Team, which helps local businesses, many of which could lose trade to Aldi.

Wiltshire councillor for Malmesbury, Gavin Grant, says this is "very disappointing".

Cllr Grant said: “I am pleased that the block on progressing the new Aldi store at the Nurden’s Garden Centre site has finally been‎ removed. The barrier was the s106 agreement.

“That agreement should have seen more funds coming from Aldi and the landowners to the Malmesbury Town Team just as happened when Waitrose was built. I called for that when the Aldi go ahead was first given. I was backed by a clear majority of councillors at the planning meeting that said ‘yes’ to Aldi.

“So while I am pleased that Aldi’s store will now be built, I am very disappointed that the town team are not getting anything from the Aldi go ahead. Many of our High Street traders are having a difficult enough time with Covid. Now some will face extra pressures when Aldi opens.

“The town team‎ are there to help promote shopping, eating and staying in Malmesbury. They need extra cash to keep doing that valuable work. The Aldi s106 agreement should have provided it.”

Aldi's application, which was approved on September 17, will see the demolition of existing buildings to develop the 1,782sqm supermarket. Additionally, outline approval was granted for a replacement garden centre.

Mayor of Malmesbury, Cllr Campbell Ritchie said that while he was looking forward to Aldi’s arrival as ‘a significant member of our local community’, there were a few details to iron out about the garden centre.

He added: “The application by Aldi to build a supermarket at the Garden Centre site off the A419 outside Malmesbury was approved by Wiltshire Council in March 2019, so it has taken a long time to get to this point.

“While the new Aldi store will add more shopping choice in the Malmesbury area, the agreements Wiltshire Council have made about the potential use of the rest of the Garden Centre site are also important and we will be reviewing these at our Planning and Environment Committee meeting next week.”

Cllr Roger Budgen, chair of St Paul Malmesbury Without Parish Council, echoed Cllr Ritchie’s comment.

He said: “The parish council on behalf of the local wider-community welcomes this new store which will fill a niche in the offering available to shoppers both in the town and the numerous local villages. The loss of the much loved garden centre is a shame however the initial application made provision for a replacement on site; it will be interesting to see if this comes forward.”

Residents are pleased the German supermarket is coming to Malmesbury, saying that ‘it’s about time’ the town had another place to do the shopping.

Linda Anderson, said: “Another supermarket means more choice for the customers. It’s a positive for Malmesbury.” Robert Platt, who lives in Great Somerford but does his weekly shop in Malmesbury, said that Aldi will bring ‘a much-needed something for the masses’.

“It brings good quality food at an affordable price that I don’t have to drive 15 to 20 minutes to Royal Wootton Bassett for,” he said.

An Aldi spokesman said: “We’re pleased to have received planning permission to bring an Aldi store to Malmesbury and are grateful for the significant local support. Once open, the store will create up to 30 jobs and help local people shop and save closer to home.

“We hope to begin preliminary site preparations in the coming months and will keep the community updated on developments.”