Aldi pledges: ‘We won’t take over town’

Garstang Community Centre April 2014
Garstang Community Centre April 2014
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Discount retailer Aldi has unveiled plans to open a £6m store in Garstang, with 45 new jobs to be created.

The store – if given the green light by Wyre Council planners - is set to be built on the former Emo Oil site, off Moss Lane, which was closed in April.

But Aldi bosses revealed at a Garstang Town Council meeting that Wyre Council had also suggested Garstang’s Community Centre, off High Street as a possible location.

The building is currently listed as a Community Asset. The announcement also comes amid growing unrest over the changing face of the traditional market town.

Campaigners, including many independent traders, have taken to social media in dismay at a recent glut of proposals for major developments which they say threaten its ‘quaint, picturesque’ image

As the campaign to fight proposals for major housing, retail, business and commercial development in and around Garstang, Catterall and Nateby, gathers pace, protestors have been hit by this latest announcement of a multi-national incomer at the heart of the town.

Aldi says plans for the store will be submitted to Wyre next month and the firm hopes to have the new store open by early 2016.

Representatives from Aldi and Morbaine Ltd, Bryn Richards and Keith Nutter, attended Monday night’s meeting.

Mr Nutter said the project was “still an evolving scheme” but offered huge benefits for the town.

He said as part of their assessment they had been asked to look at the Community Centre as a potential site but said the chosen location was “sequentially superior”.

He said: “This is a project people can take advantage of. It is a great location in the centre of town, with access off Moss Lane and with a boost of 45 full and part-time jobs.”

And dispelling fears of a Garstang takeover, Mr Richards add: “We don’t have a separate butchers or bakers.

“We don’t sell newspapers or cigarettes so do not feel we take too much away from town centre retailers, we aim to complement them.”

An application is set to be submitted to Wyre Borough Council next month, with the hopes to have a store opened by early 2016.

Mr Richards said the company would also be holding a public consultation for residents to be able to view the whole scheme.