Published: 10:07, 20 July 2020
| Updated: 15:07, 20 July 2020
Plans to build a new Aldi superstore at a former gasworks have been approved.
Once built, the food giant will shut the existing store in Boundary Road, Ramsgate, and open the new facility just across the road on the derelict site.
Aldi bosses say the existing supermarket, which opened 20 years ago and has 70 parking spaces, is now too small for the number of customers.
The new store will be 1,900 sq m, with 118 parking spaces and a new vehicle access onto Hardres Road with pedestrian access onto St Luke's Avenue.
The development excludes the Grade II-listed property at the gasworks, which is being converted into flats by Blueberry Homes, the company behind the Royal Sands scheme on Ramsgate seafront.
Developers are building 73 flats at the site, with 15 of them in the old gas works office building.
An Aldi spokesman says the Boundary Road plot offers significant benefits and opportunities, while redeveloping a brownfield site.
"The existing site area is too small for Aldi's current needs; due to ground conditions, previous extensions and site constraints, it is not possible to redevelop this site," she said.
"We believe to split the larger site, to include retail use to develop a new Aldi foodstore, alongside a new residential development, will bring greater economic and social benefits to the local area."
She added: "We’re pleased to have received planning permission for our new Ramsgate store and are grateful for the significant local support.
"The store will be in our new layout, which ensures more space for fresh, chilled and food-to-go ranges as well as simpler layouts and brighter, wider aisles.
"We hope to begin preliminary site preparations in the coming months and will keep the community updated on developments."
Aldi is contributing £22,000 towards electric vehicle charging space provision within Ramsgate's public car parks to help mitigate the impact the new store will have on air quality.
Council planners admit there will be some environmental harm to the setting of the listed building and air quality. But the layout, which includes improved landscaping and better pedestrian access, with the retention of the most significant element of the historic wall, helps to avoid significant harm.
Last month it was revealed Aldi is on the lookout for locations for new stores, with Broadstairs on its list.
The supermarket giant wants to expand to have 1,200 stores open by 2025. It currently has more than 800 across the UK.