Aldi hits back at critics over controversial Whitchurch plans

Reporter:

Emily Davies

Officials behind plans to build a new supermarket in Whitchurch have hit back at critics.

JLL, agents for Aldi, say they are “disappointed” that concerns raised by Shropshire Council’s historic team and the Canal and River Trust have not been backed up by an assessment.

The applicants submitted their own heritage statement as part of the proposal back in March.

The response from JLL last week states: “It is disappointing to note that in their responses, the Shropshire Council Historic Environment Development Service and the Canal and River Trust have not undertaken the same assessment in their consultation responses.

“As such, the submitted Heritage statement is the only document, prepared in line with Historic England guidance that sets out the significance of the canal based on a thorough understanding of its historic development.”

The letter continued: “The Heritage statement concluded that given the degree of change/urbanisation within the vicinity of the application site, the setting of this section (the application site) of the Llangollen Canal, no longer makes a contribution to its significance.

“As such, it has been concluded that development on the site would not cause harm to the significance of the non-designated heritage asset by virtue of developing within what is an increasingly urbanised part of its setting.”

It comes just days after the Canal and River Trust reiterated calls for the proposed budget superstore off Wrexham Road to be refused.

Anne Denby, area planner, said the organisation still feels the proposed supermarket would be “visually intrusive”.

She said: “Insufficient detail has been provided to demonstrate the landscaping buffer would be sufficient to mitigate this harm and no assessment of the impact on the canal, as a non-designated heritage asset, has been provided.

“The Trust considers planning permission should not be granted as the proposed building – because of its height, design and proximity to the canal – would be visually intrusive when viewed from the canal corridor and adversely impact on its wider landscaped character.”

Meanwhile, ID Planning, working on behalf of Rula Developments Ltd, has also reiterated the plans should be refused, sayong the previously-considered site at Heath Road would be “preferential”.

A decision was expected in June, but Shropshire Council is yet to give its verdict on the proposal.

Email:

emily.davies@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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