Published: 10:30, 07 February 2019
| Updated: 10:32, 07 February 2019
A supermarket giant's plans for a state-of-the-art new superstore on the outskirts of Hythe look set for further delays.
Initially, German chain Aldi said it would move onto the Kengate Industrial Estate in Dymchurch Road, last summer.
Then, in May last year, the budget chain revealed it wouldn’t build the 1,800 sq m superstore and 75-space parking with access until this summer.
Now, papers lodged to Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) show the deadline will likely be missed.
An Aldi spokesman said they were unable to comment.
Construction was initially set to start last November and estimated at 26 weeks, according to Base Build Services’ construction plan, the firm carrying out the works.
But with groundworks still being carried out - with harmful substances inside the ground and buildings - there is no fixed date for demolition of the existing units.
Lead was discovered inside the ground along with asbestos, which is also present inside a number of the existing buildings - previously a laundry, garages, and other small businesses.
Papers available on the council’s website explain: “The current buildings onsite contain asbestos, however, if they are removed in accordance with best practice, there should be no risk to human health.”
Aldi decided to relocate from its smaller High Street store to provide a larger range of stock and boost profits.
Eventually, the multi-million pound scheme is expected to employ 50 staff, a spokesman said.
The lion’s share will come from the existing High Street store, it is understood.
The plans received widespread support from the community, with more than 260 comments in favour against a handful of objections.
Objections centred on concerns about possible congestion on Dymchurch Road and 15 small businesses on the estate being forced to relocate or close.
A report lodged by Louise Daniel, FHDC planning officer, said the proposal would not create "adverse harm" to the High Street.
So far it is unknown what will happen to the vacant town centre supermarket space.