An Aldi store in Ripon is a step closer to reality after the supermarket chain submitted a planning application for a site on Stonebridgegate.
As reported previously in the Gazette, Aldi revealed its plans to open a store at the former gasworks site in December and, after holding an exhibition in the city to seek the views of residents, it has now put in its application for the store, which it anticipates will create up to 30 jobs.
“We are encouraged by the very positive feedback we have already received from local residents and are excited about introducing a new discount food store to Ripon,” said an Aldi spokesman. “We feel this is a great opportunity to offer residents a genuine choice when it comes to completing their shopping, as there is currently no comparable discount food retailer in the area and residents are currently travelling out of the local area to meet their shopping needs.”
The company said that following a public exhibition of its plans at Allhallowgate Methodist Church Hall in December, 93 per cent of feedback received to date has supported the proposal.
Reasons cited by respondents in favour included increased shopping choice the store would bring and the beneficial re-use of a long-standing eyesore site.
Aldi’s proposals would see the site, which has been vacant for more than 10 years, redeveloped with a new single-storey building with a net sales area of 1,140sqm and 77 free customer car parking spaces as well as landscaping.
The planning application has been welcomed by Ripon and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
Secretary Don Grundy said: “There were two or three points we made about the original plans – such as access from Princess Close to make it easier to get into the city centre and also an increase to the size of the car parking – and Aldi seems to have incorporated all the comments we made.
“We think the store will boost the city economically as Ripon does not have a discount supermarket and there are a number of people who at the moment go off to other towns to shop at discount stores.
“Hopefully Aldi will keep these people in the city and also bring others into Ripon.”
Following the consultation with the community, Aldi adapted its original plans by increasing car parking and introducing a gated pedestrian access from Princess Close.
Aldi said: “Following the feedback received at the public exhibition, we have worked to develop our plans for the site to ensure we can deliver a high-quality store which will regenerate this site and respect neighbouring amenity as well as providing 30 new jobs and a multimillion pound investment in the city.”
Harrogate Borough Council has set a target date of June 17 to determine the planning application.
Anyone who wants to know more about the company’s proposals for Ripon is encouraged to telephone the project’s freephone information line on 0800 298 7040.
– Would you welcome an Aldi store in Ripon? Send us your views by email to email@example.com or by post to The Editor, Ripon Gazette, 1 Cardale Park, Beckwith Head Road, Harrogate, HG3 1RZ.