Whitchurch Chamber of Trade believes an A41 Aldi will harm town

Reporter:

Barrie White

Whitchurch’s Chamber of Trade and Commerce believes a successful planning application for Aldi on the corner of Wrexham Road and the A41 would be harmful for the town.

At a recent meeting, a number of issues were established on the potential supermarket by members of the chamber.

This included the positioning of the store by the canal, which would threaten town centre footfall and would make it easy for tourists (boaters in particular) to walk to Aldi for provisions and will impact cafes, pubs, butchers, etc, rather than walk into town as they do now.

That the Town Plan is against further retail operations on the bypass – there are more appropriate areas for such development.

If this development goes ahead it will set a precedent for building retail out of town which could snowball.

Whitchurch will then become another market town with empty shops in its centre instead of a vibrant town centre with multiple independents.

The proposed site will result in traffic clogging up a peaceful residential area and it was felt there are enough supermarkets in Whitchurch even with the proposed increase in population/housing.

However, the chamber did say it would give Aldi a cautious welcome were it to be sited within the environs of the town centre.

Therese Hickland, chairman, said: “The above are not my (personal) views although I subscribe to the sentiment expressed.

”In the eight years that I have been trading on Whitchurch High Street I have seen a significant increase in footfall both up and down the High Street.

”The town looks smarter and more welcoming although we are conscious that further work needs to be done to ensure that visitors feel they are welcome and that local shoppers feel confident that Whitchurch town centre independent shops should be their first stop for a purchase rather than out of town.”

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

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