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35 jobs in store at new Aldi

An artist's impression of the new Aldi store proposed for Oxford Square in Marton.

An artist's impression of the new Aldi store proposed for Oxford Square in Marton.

A new Aldi supermarket in Marton could create 35 jobs on the site of a sofa showroom and derelict pub.

Plans for the 1,647 sq metre store at Oxford Square 
involve the demolition of both the Sofaworks shop, which is still currently trading, and the old Oxford Public House, which closed in 2009.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee will visit the site next Wednesday before deciding upon the scheme, but it is recommended for approval by officers and has gone down well with residents.

However, the scheme means an uncertain future for 10 staff at Sofaworks.

Deputy manager Gary Jones said: “We’ve been told ‘don’t worry, you’ll still have a job’, but we don’t know if that will be at a new shop in Blackpool and people are worried about where they might have to travel to.”

Sofaworks has other stores in Lancashire at Bolton, 
Blackburn and Southport.

The Aldi plans retain the historic facade of the Sofaworks building but it will be moved forwards, and permission is being sought for a separate 92 sq metre unit behind it which could be used as a shop, office, cafe/restaurant, pub or takeaway.

A new access will be 
created on Park Road and there will be 101 parking spaces and 10 bicycle spaces.

The council planning 
report suggests conditions requiring improvements to local roads, including a new push button crossing and 
pedestrian refuge on Park Road, the introduction of a right turn from Whitegate Drive on to Park Road and safety reviews to assess the impact on the busy junction.

While supporting the scheme, a petition from Kirkstall Avenue residents urged the council to address 
concerns store customers will add to an existing problem of the public parking on their road.

However, the planning 
report concludes that overspill parking is unlikely 
because the road is not directly accessible from Park Road or Waterloo Road.

There were 37 letters from residents supporting the 
proposal.

Lew and Deletta Parker, of Honister Avenue, summed up the views of many people, writing: “I think this is an 
absolutely brilliant idea – a supermarket, one of the best in the country, bringing local jobs for local people.

“Also, it will be in walking distance for locals instead of having to travel to other large supermarkets.

“The Oxford pub that was is a disgrace. It’s totally run down and derelict and looks terrible.”

The planning report 
added: “Increasing footfall in the area will have an inevitable knock-on beneficial effect to other retailers.”

The store will open from 8am-10pm Monday-Saturday and 9am-5pm on Sundays, but councillors are being urged to impose a condition limiting deliveries to 11pm-6am from Monday-Saturday and 
between 6pm and 8am on Sunday/Monday.

Tyldesley ward councillor Allan Matthews, said: “My ward colleague Eddie Collett and I feel this is one of the best examples we have seen of a company consulting local people.

“We’ve asked around and spoken about it at the Police and Community Together meeting and people are all very much in favour of it.

“I had a meeting with Aldi and they said local people will be given priority for the jobs and they will be trained for the long term.”

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