Published: 12:00, 12 October 2020
Residents have again raised concerns about the under-construction commercial complex in Faversham - this time taking aim at Aldi’s hopes to install illuminated signs.
The long-awaited budget supermarket, which is due to open before the end of the year, wants the go-ahead to erect its branding at the site off the A251Ashford Road.
Three vibrant Aldi logos are proposed to be attached to the supermarket building, while a sole-standing totem sign is set to be placed near to the new A251 roundabout.
Non-illuminated vinyl banners depicting the British countryside and a huge Union Jack flag are also planned for the site.
But critics, who voiced similar concerns to the neighbouring Premier Inn bid for bright branding, have raised “serious questions” over the need for the illuminated signs.
Ashford Road resident John Mulford fears nearby residents will suffer from light pollution as a result.
He said: “The Aldi site is on an elevated position compared to the nearby houses on the A251 with very little, if any, screening.
"We would be concerned about the level of illumination of these signs and that this is carefully considered so as not to unduly contribute to even further light pollution in this area - especially for those whose houses directly face the building.”
His worries are echoed by Lynda Brissenden, but Bergamot Road resident James Charlton is in favour of the proposals.
“It is clear that Aldi has considered what will be suitable for the area. It is in keeping with the themes of British,” he said.
Once open, the supermarket will boast a 123-space car park and create 50 new jobs.
A three-storey Premier Inn hotel will open next door, along with a 66-bed care home and a proposed parade of shops.
The application for three retail units, for which tenants have not been revealed, has prompted questions from objectors.
On behalf of the Faversham Society, Harold Goodwin said: “Retail units on this site can be viable only if they attract customers from other residential districts, which involves drawing business away from the town centre.
“This is undesirable, particularly now that the commercial viability of retail outlets generally has become precarious owing to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, and that the current shift from retail to online shopping is likely to persist over the longer term.”
In contrast, the applicants say the parade of shops will be “conveniently located” for Faversham residents and will deliver further economic growth to the area.
The scheme would create 17 jobs.