Aldi proposal due before town planners

Aldi store
Aldi store
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A decision on whether to grant planning permission for a discount food store on land off Squires Gate Lane in Blackpool looks set to be deferred when Blackpool’s planning committee meets today.

Retailer Aldi has submitted proposals to the council to knock down a disused warehouse at the edge of Blackpool Retail Park, off Squires Gate Lane, and replace it with a new store.

The scheme would create around 84 jobs if it got the go ahead.

But planning officers say they would prefer Aldi to consider other sites for the scheme, including the site of the Booths store on Highfield Road which will become redundant when Booths closes later this month ahead of the opening of its new store in St Annes.

They are also concerned about the cumulative impact of another store on Squires Gate Lane in addition to the existing Morrisons.

Neighbouring Fylde Council has also recently approved plans for a food outlet on the site of the former Westgate House, also on Squires Gate Lane.

Councillors are being recommended to defer their decision while these outstanding issues are considered.

A report to the committee says the applicant believes the proposal will meet development requirements - by providing jobs, adding to the retail offer in the area and removing rundown industrial units.

The report says the scheme would replace the units “with a modern building which would tie in with the adjacent Blackpool Retail Park”.

It would also offer the potential for linked trips to other shopping destinations.

Concerns about the loss of industrial land in that area of South Shore are not considered strong enough to justify recommending the refusal of the application. The committee is due to meet today at 6pm at Blackpool Town Hall to discuss the proposals.