An application to build a new Aldi supermarket on Caernarfon Road in Bangor looks likely to be given the go-ahead after planning officers recommended the scheme for approval.
The proposals, which were submitted in May 2019, will see the former Blakemore Cash & Carry building demolished and the vacant site transformed into an attractive, modern food store that will have a net sales area of 1,254m², 113 car parking spaces including dedicated disabled and parent-and-child parking and additional parking facilities for motorbikes and bicycles.
The plans also include improvements to Caernarfon Road around the shared point of access to the site and the neighbouring Dunelm store via the creation of a new mini-roundabout on Caernarfon Road.
Bangor City Council objected to the development as they believed it to be contrary to section 6.3 Gwynedd & Anglesey Joint Development Plan, i.e. “restricting the expansion of out-of-town retailing and leisure development”.
They voiced concerns at the current level of traffic movements and congestion in this area, believing a further large retail outlet would generate an unacceptable increase in traffic flow on Caernarfon Road which is often ‘gridlocked‘.
A notice was posted in the local press and near the site, nearby residents/properties were also notified. At the time of writing the report the following comments had been received raising concern on the following grounds:
Having another vacant unit in Bangor Centre is not good.
In addition to the objections, numerous comments in support of the application had also been received which included:
- Site is more accessible.
- New roundabout would slow the traffic and increase safety.
- Will offer much needed visual improvement to the area.
- Improved access is a benefit.
- Will boost the local economy and provide employment opportunities.
- Being close to the A55 it will attract customers from further afield.
- Local residents are looking forward to this development.
- More space in the shop and more parking would be a bonus.
- A bigger store is definitely needed, car park is often full and not enough aisle space.
- Current store is too small and too cramped.
- More beneficial having large grocery stores on the outskirts.
- I live behind the proposal and welcome this development.
Other comments included:
- Please include trees on the boundary of the site.
- Bus shelters and bins required for the bus stop.
In a report, planners said: “Overall, it is considered that there will be no significant impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre from the loss of Aldi.
“Allowing the relocation of the site will secure the future of the Aldi store and its existing workforce of 27 staff in Bangor and should create an additional 10 new jobs. This is considered to be a positive contribution to the local economy.”
A spokesperson for Aldi said: “A new store at this location would provide residents of Bangor with a greater level of parking, and a high-quality, modern store providing customers with a modern shopping experience, whilst still stocking the same range of award-winning products.”
Councillors on the planning committee will consider the application on Monday 21 October.