Frustrated residents have posted signs to protest a proposed new Aldi store in Ashford.
The German food giant has launched a second consultation on its plans to build a store in Kennington, but residents have expressed concerns over issues it will cause for motorists.
Cllr Howard Turner (Ind), who represents the Bybrook Ward on Ashford Borough Council, commended Aldi for submitting a second consultation, but said that a second store would be "a bad idea".
"The location is extremely prone to congestion, as anyone from Kennington will tell you," he explained.
"It doesn't matter how many lights Aldi promise, traffic volume at this bottle-neck will defeat them. Even more so in the near future as a major residential building programme is proposed about Conningbrook."
Feelings are so strong among residents that signs have been placed to protest the proposal, with someone going as far as to set up a sign on the land – although this was removed within days.
One sign, made up of a painted sheet, is still attached to the fence opposite the development on Canterbury Road, which reads "Aldi Supermarket: No! No!"
Aldi purchased the 1.85-acre site, which had been previously earmarked for a Miller and Carter Steakhouse, in 2019.
If built, it will create 50 jobs and have a 120-space car park with 22 charging points for electric vehicles.
No planning application has been submitted yet, with the German discount brand hoping to hear residents’ views of the proposal beforehand.
In a bid to mitigate fears over congestion, supermarket bosses have confirmed traffic lights will be installed at the site entrance if plans are approved.
This could see lights erected at the Cemetery Lane junction which leads to Longacres Bybrook Barn and Harvester.
A spokesman for the supermarket chain said: “Aldi is seeking to signalise the access junction to the site with traffic lights and plans will be submitted to Ashford Borough Council to this effect.
“Consultation will be conducted virtually, to allow as many residents as possible to engage and provide feedback.”
Meanwhile, an empty plot of land behind the proposed shop has also been earmarked for development.
A 0.6-acre space, directly next door, is on the market with estate agents City & Counties which says it is an ‘ideal opportunity’ for a drive-thru restaurant.
The plot is part of a wider nine-acre development of the former Houchin Sports and Social Club site.
There was a suggestion the remaining land behind could become a retirement village, however it is understood this has now been dropped.
Other ideas include a boutique hotel, a cafe or restaurant, a garden centre, a car dealership or a leisure facility, among other uses, although nothing has yet been confirmed.