Leeds City Council raises ‘issues’ with Aldi Wetherby store plans

An artist's impression of the original design of the proposed store, first revealed to the public in November 2013. (S)
An artist's impression of the original design of the proposed store, first revealed to the public in November 2013. (S)

Concerns were raised with the proposal to build an Aldi store on Sandbeck Lane at a Leeds City Council (LCC) plans panel last week.

First revealed in November 2013 and formally submitted this March, Aldi reduced the height of its store by 1.5m and repositioned the building further away from neighbouring boundaries after discussions with nearby residents and planning officers.

The plans are now expected to change again, following responses from the North and East plans panel where further issues were raised.

Ward Coun John Procter (Con), who is a member of the plans panel, said: “Members of the committee visited the site in the morning and had a good chance to have a look.

“There was particular concern about the siting of the building and the scale of it. There are a number of neighbours who back onto what would be their warehouse and there was concern about what impact that would have.

“It is not as simple as just moving the store forward because you would lose car parking and push it closer to some other houses.

“It is back with Aldi now and they have got to reflect on those issues. I am sure they are going to come forward with those amendments to keep everyone happy.”

Aside from the possible effect of the store’s proposed location on neighbours, other concerns, such as parking provision and deliveries, were raised by councillors.

Ward Coun Gerald Wilkinson (Con), who is also on the panel, said: “It was agreed in principle to support the application but then it reverts back to ward members to cross the T’s and dot the I’s.

“There were one or two issues that the board weren’t happy about, such as the possible location of the store and that highways have identified that the requirement would be more than the suggested 70 spaces for the store.

“Another issue was the possible conflict between deliveries and people going in and out. We identified these small issues, but I am sure they will be sorted and the store will progress to opening.”

An Aldi spokesman said: “The meeting was very positive and members were in agreement that introducing a new food store to this part of Wetherby would not harm the vitality and viability of Wetherby town centre.

“Aldi is committed to investing in Wetherby and is now carefully reviewing the feedback given by members at the meeting and is working to ensure there are no outstanding concerns when the panel next meets to consider the application in July.”