Four years after Aldi was knocked back in its bid for a Barnoldswick supermarket, the chain has won the day for a store in town.
Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee unanimously voted in principle to approve the application for a new 1,735sq.m. store on part of the Albert Hartley site off Crownest Road, subject to the council’s planning manager Neil Watson agreeing conditions.
The approval will see the oldest part of the Albert Hartley site demolished to redevelop it to include the store, new access on to Crownest Road and a 120-space car park.
Permission was granted in 2012 for a mixed use development on the same site when Aldi, then wanting to develop on the Skipton Road Business Park, was turned down. The previous permission has now lapsed.
The new plan, which had a recommendation for approval, could create up to 40 jobs as well as employment in areas such as construction, maintenance and window cleaning, according to Aldi. The store is expected to be finished in late 2017.
However, the application had attracted five objections and a representative from the Co-op spoke against it at Tuesday’s meeting. Local residents had expressed concern about increased traffic, noise and pollution as well as further problems with parking and danger to the public with the Aldi store traffic entering Skipton Road in the proximity of a fuel station and Rolls-Royce’s Bankfield factory.
Rolls-Royce, while supporting the principle of retail development on the site, believing a new food store would be of benefit to Barnoldswick, also had concerns with parking, servicing, visibility, and the impact on the Skipton Road and Crownest Road junction.
But councillors voted in favour and speaking after the decision, Coun. David Whipp said: “Approving the Aldi application was reasonably straightforward.
“Having had approval for a store twice as large on the site previously, a smaller store is acceptable.
“The retail assessments once again showed the high proportion of grocery spending in stores outside Barnoldswick; a new store in town will attract some of that trade.
“In short, the town was much more in favour of this development instead of the deep division over the previous proposal.
“Overall, granting approval will lead to a renewal of the run down industrial buildings and investment in those remaining, with guarantees about keeping manufacturing jobs at the site.
“There are several issues that still need sorting out including installing pedestrian crossing facilities, drainage matters and ensuring that nearby residents have adequate parking. These are all issues that should be easy to deal with.”
Coun. Jennifer Purcell added: “It is what the people wanted and I think it will be a help for people on low incomes and pensioners.
“For the last 18 months I’ve had people coming up to me asking when we are getting a supermarket as they have to go out of town.
“Half of Barnoldswick shops in Morrisons in Skipton and only a fortnight ago I was stopped in there.
“I’m sure people will continue to support the Co-op and people will still have the choice of going out of town to Morrisons, Tesco or wherever.
“We don’t know yet whether it will have an adverse effect on the town centre but it is a growing town and we need to cater for people’s shopping needs.”
An Aldi spokesman said: “We are pleased to have been granted planning permission for a new Aldi store on the Albert Hartley site in Barnoldswick.
“The store will be larger than our existing store in nearby Colne and will create around 40 jobs when fully operational. We expect the store to open late next year.
“In addition, we are currently extending the Colne store to increase floor space by 25%. The newly enlarged store will open on August 25th.”