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Horsted Retail Park buildings could create 100 jobs if Aldi and KFC move in

Plans for a KFC and Aldi at Horsted Retail Park have been submitted to Medway Council.

The proposal is to build both units in the car park of Toys R Us which is under-used.

A consultation earlier in the year found local residents had concerns over traffic, parking and security on the site in Maidstone Road.

Horsted retail park plans released by Royal London
Horsted retail park plans released by Royal London

The Aldi store will cover 2,070sqm and KFC will take up 554sqm. There are now 395 parking spaces but the buildings will take up 175 of these spaces.

Royal London’s Senior Asset Manager, Yasin Sadiq, said:“We believe our plans represent a fantastic opportunity to regenerate Horsted Retail Park and provide new retail facilities, which not only improve local consumer choice, but also create significant economic benefits through the creation of up to 100 new jobs and an investment of £6 million."

The design and access statement reads: “The current car park within the northern section of the retail park is currently under utilised and disproportionately large in an area relative to the existing Toys R Us unit.

“The car parking area adjoining the eastern side elevation of Toys R Us is particularly remote and isolated from the main retail frontage.

“A new Aldi food store is therefore proposed to infill this area of car park, making the retail park more efficient and allowing the remaining area of car park to completely face the frontage.

Aldi is planned for the retail park
Aldi is planned for the retail park

“This layout strategy also allows the existing service area behind Toys R Us to be used by Aldi, while not affecting the existing turning area for HGVs.”

In response to concerns over the increase in traffic, the applicant said there will be an extra car every two to four minutes each-way on Maidstone Road which will not have a huge affect on traffic conditions..

The design and access statement outlines several highway improvements planned for the area. This includes widening the exit of the retail park and the southern approach to the roundabout.

The branch of Toys R Us is expected to remain open amid plans to shut at least 26 nationally, putting 800 jobs at risk, including the store in Tunbridge Wells which is earmarked to cease trading in the spring.

If built it will be Aldi’s fourth supermarket in the Towns –with ones already in Duncan Road, Gillingham, Strood and Gillingham Business Park. There are already KFC takeaways in Gillingham Business Park, Canterbury Street, Gillingham, Chatham High Street and Strood town centre.

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