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Aldi urge shoppers to back plans for new £6 million store in Maidstone which is 'at risk' of being rejected after dozens of objections

Multi-million plans for a new Aldi are at risk, with the supermarket giant urging residents to back their plans.

In October, the German-chain revealed proposals for a £6million development in Newnham Court Way, Maidstone, which would create 50 jobs.

Plans for a new £6m Aldi store in Newnham Court Way, Maidstone, are "at risk". Picture: Aldi
Plans for a new £6m Aldi store in Newnham Court Way, Maidstone, are "at risk". Picture: Aldi

But those plans are now "at risk" of being rejected by planning officers, with Aldi urging people to get in touch with Maidstone council and show their support for the new store.

The development, which would be near Newnham Court shopping village and next to KIMS Hospital, has already received scores of objections from people in the area.

They are concerned the new supermarket would cause traffic problems near the M20 junction, with some brandishing the proposals "foolish".

An Aldi spokesman said: "Unfortunately, our plans for a new Aldi store at Newnham Court Way are at risk of refusal by the council’s planning officers, without your elected local councillors having a say.

"If you want to see a new Aldi here, we urgently need you to show your support for the plans."

It urged people from the town to email the local authority the following message: "I support Aldi’s planning application for a new, high-quality discount food store at Newnham Court Way (reference 22/505560/FULL).

"These plans will provide greater customer choice during a cost of living crisis, as well as bringing new jobs and investment to Maidstone.

"I ask Maidstone Borough Council to consider this application at a Planning Committee meeting of elected councillors and hope that the application will be approved."

Teresa Back, from Grove Green, Maidstone, said if the plans are accepted it would cause misery for residents.

She said: "The development of the above site and the associated development of retails outlets such as Next and Marks and Spencer has served only to increase the traffic using the areas to an intolerable level.

"Adding into the mix a supermarket would increase this volume and further add to the misery of local residents already having their lives severely curtailed by the traffic congestion."

Weavering resident Kay Neve believes the area doesn't need a new supermarket, with suitable facilities nearby.

"The demographic of this area are such that an Aldi supermarket is not needed," she said.

If approved, the supermarket would be next to KIMS Hospital. Picture: Aldi
If approved, the supermarket would be next to KIMS Hospital. Picture: Aldi

"The area already boasts a large Tesco supermarket and an M&S food hall, both of which adequately cater for local residents and have suitable parking facilities."

Some, among the many objections, provided their support for the development.

Mark Stephens, of Twyford Court, Maidstone, said: "My wife and I have lived in the Vinters Park area for over 20 years and I support this new development that I believe will improve the area near KIMS Hospital and Newnham Court.

"Marks and Spencers and Tesco are the only two supermarkets within a reasonable distance and another would be welcomed.

"I have read several of the objections which pertain to the congestion around junction 7 and agree that there is a terrible problem with traffic, but feel this new development will be able to alleviate much of the current situation provided some form of agreement can be reached with the developers to invest money to make the area less problematic."

National Highways have recommended the application not be approved until later this year while it gathers vital information from the applicant on the impact it will have on surrounding roads.

Initial plans would see a 1,315sqm store built with an "attractive, modern and bespoke" store and would provide 140 free parking spaces, 14 bicycle spaces and 14 dedicated electric car charging points.

If given to go ahead, it would be the third Aldi in Maidstone. Picture: Aldi
If given to go ahead, it would be the third Aldi in Maidstone. Picture: Aldi

The supermarket chain says the development would be in a convenient and accessible location, mean more retail choice for Maidstone residents and would be an economic boost due to construction.

A statement in planning documents for the proposals said: "Aldi’s proposals for a new discount food store represent an exciting opportunity for Weavering.

"There is a recognised need to deliver a new Aldi to Maidstone, as our current stores are significantly overtrading and drawing in customers from far across Maidstone and the wider area.

"Aldi's exciting plans would see the site developed with a new and sustainably designed discount food store, stocking Aldi's award-winning products.

"The store design is unique and tailored to ensure that it respects the surrounding landscape.

"A new store at Newnham Court Way will help alleviate the pressure on existing stores, while delivering a £6m investment into the area that will secure up to 50 new jobs and long-term economic benefits for the community."

The closest stores to the newest planned site are in Well Road and Langley Park, or a longer drive to Aylesford.

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