Plans for a “new and improved” Aldi store on Sheppey, which promises to create 50 jobs, look set to be approved.
The German-owned budget chain submitted a full planning application to Swale council in June last year to build the supermarket opposite Neats Court Retail Park in Queenborough – just yards away from its regional distribution centre.
The new store would replace its existing shop in Millennium Way, Sheerness, which is on the market for £2m. Aldi said the 15-year-old store was dated and “no longer fit for purpose”.
It added: “We would like to improve Aldi’s offer on Sheppey as the existing store is one of the smaller Aldi stores in the country and does not offer the space and facilities found in newer Aldi stores.”
However, Morrisons – which already has a store at the retail park – lodged a “strong objection”. It said by relocating, Aldi would “negate the need” for shoppers to visit Sheerness.
Tesco, which has a supermarket in the town centre, and Queenborough Town Council were also among objectors, while there were five letters of support for the plans.
But in a report to councillors, head of planning James Freeman recommended permission be granted, subject to conditions including a financial contribution towards highways works.
He said: “Although I believe there is some harm caused by the closure of the existing store and the impact upon the setting of the listed building [nearby Neats Court Manor], I take the view that the benefits of the scheme would outweigh these."
Access to the store would be via a new arm on the existing roundabout to the retail park.
A decision will be made by Swale council’s Planning Committee on Thursday.