Decision due on plans for new larger Aldi store for Hartlepool

A decision is due to be made on plans by Aldi to relocate one of its Hartlepool stores to a new site in the town.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 12:57 am

Plans were submitted last year by Aldi to move from its existing site at Tees Bay Retail Park to a vacant parcel of land off Brenda Road, to create a new larger site to the south-west of the Stag & Monkey public house.

Plans state the move would create up to 10 new jobs, plus those linked to its construction.

Hartlepool Borough Council Planning Committee are due to make a decision on the plans at their meeting on Wednesday, January 29.

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How the new Hartlepool Aldi could look
How the new Hartlepool Aldi could look

Five objections have been received to the plans raising concerns over the impact it will have on Tees Bay Retail Park and traffic crossing worries near the potential new store.

Bosses behind approved plans from Mason Partners LLP for a new ‘innovative box park’ at Tees Bay Retail Park voiced objections to the Aldi move, stating their development could be ‘in jeopardy’ if the supermarket leaves the site.

However 33 letters of support have also been received by the council over the plans, praising the regeneration of the proposed area and a potential larger Aldi store.

A report from senior council planning officer Ryan Cowley is recommending the proposals are approved at the meeting.

He said: “Whilst the proposals constitute a departure from the development plan and will ultimately result in the loss of an area of designated employment land, it is considered that this is outweighed by the benefits of the scheme.

“Namely the visual improvement to the site and immediate area, creation of additional jobs, the improved connectivity to the site and surrounding areas and biodiversity enhancement.”

Aldi bosses have said the proposed move will benefit the area and provide a new and improved store for the town, having held a consultation over the plans before submitting them.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “Our proposals for a new store at Brenda Road would replace Aldi’s outdated store, which we have operated at Tees Bay Retail Park for 27 years and is now too small for our needs.

“The planning application demonstrates that there is more than sufficient retail capacity to support a new store without having a detrimental impact on Tees Bay Retail Park.”

A letter of objection submitted to the council from Helen Heward at Planning House, agents on behalf of Mason Partners LLP, raised concerns over the impact the move could have on Tees Bay Retail Park.

She said: “If Aldi (and other similar) vacate the park, investments such as delivering the container park become unviable and the park in all likelihood will become involved in a negative cycle with further voids appearing and jobs being lost across the estate.

“Ultimately it is highly likely that this would detract from the offer of the retail park having a negative impact upon the overall character and attractiveness to shoppers.”

A decision is due to be made at the council planning committee meeting on Wednesday, January 29, at 10.30am.