Proposals for a new Aldi supermarket at a prime site in Blackpool have been approved by planners – subject to a bat survey being carried out.
The scheme will see the Sofaworks store and the former Oxford Pub in Oxford Square demolished in order to build a 1,647 sq metre store and provide 101 parking spaces. The store is expected to create 35 new jobs.
Blackpool Council’s planning chairman Coun David Owen said: “It was a unanimous decision to agree these proposals.
“The site has connections with the old windmill but the pub has seen better days and we are going to retain part of the frontage of the old Thomas Motors building, which is now used by the sofa company.
“The new store will be a facility for local people and there was a lot of support.
“I believe Aldi are ready to go on site and it will be a fairly quick demolition process and they will get on with it.
“People have seen bats and if there are any there, bat boxes will be put up to give them a home.”
Aldi’s existing store on Waterloo Road will not be affected by the opening of the new store. A spokeswoman for Sofaworks said they had plans for new stores in Lancashire.
She said: “Upon completion of the sale contract, Aldi are likely to take possession of our Blackpool site in early 2015, at which stage all members of our team at the Blackpool store will relocate within the business.”
Access to the Aldi will be from Park Road and a condition of the approval is that road improvements are made 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.
The store will open from 8am-10pm Monday-Saturday and 9am-5pm on Sundays.