A NEW discount supermarket in Chipping Norton could finally be approved by planners at a meeting next week.
The Uplands Planning Committee is discussing the application for an Aldi Supermarket, and change of use of the former Highways Depot site at Cromwell Business Park, off Banbury Road, at its meeting on Tuesday.
It has now been recommended for approval, subject to a legal agreement, after members deferred the application at their January meeting over fears about the store’s potential impact on the town centre and concerns about its design and landscaping and plans for parking and deliveries.
But in his report, planning officer Phil Shaw said those concerns had mainly been addressed with amended plans and further information including the "key concern" of the retail impact on the town centre.
"Our consultant has concluded it is likely to be greater than the applicants suggest but it will be within acceptable limits and will have other retail benefits," he said.
"The design has been markedly improved and the landscaping also improved with the new layout resolving the concerns regarding service vehicle conflicts."
However he added the lack of pedestrian accessibility "remained a concern".
The plans have attracted widespread support from the town with 353 letters and cards in favour of the application, along with a further 25 supporting the amended plans.
Further employment opportunities, improving the look of that part of town and provide Chippy with added food options were all reasons for approval.
However, 34 letters of objection including 16 from mainly traders have also been received including one from Midcounties Co-operative Society.
It said: "Clearly the Co-op's main concern is with the likely impact of the proposal on its store in Chipping Norton and on the town more generally.
"The applicant has failed to examine alternative sites on the edge of the primary shopping area with any thoroughness or to explain why they are unsuitable for the proposed development."
If approved, the new single-storey store would provide 20 full time jobs and 76 car parking spaces.