Aldi says it is "disappointed" over planning officer's call to refuse Whitchurch store

Reporter:

Emily Davies

Supermarket giant Aldi has said it is “disappointed” its proposed Whitchurch store has been recommended for refusal.

Members of the North Shropshire Planning Committee will meet this afternoon to discuss the controversial application to build a store off Wrexham Road.

David Delaney, from solicitors Aaron and Partners LLP, on behalf of the budget chain, warned that they believe on appeal the proposal would be successful with the possibility of a “costs award” against Shropshire Council.

He also said Mr Crean QC will speak on behalf of Aldi at the meeting which begins at 2pm at Shirehall in Shrewsbury.

Mr Delaney added: “The purpose of him speaking is not to address policy issues in detail other than in very broad terms emphasising that the conclusion reached by the officers as to the planning balance is incorrect in terms of national planning policy.

“In addition, Mr Crean will address a concern the LPA [Local Planning Authority] will have, though not referred to in the officer’s report, but raised by the planning consultants representing Lidl, which the “threat” that their client will commence judicial review proceedings against the LPA were members to approve the Aldi application.

“Such a ‘threat’ in our opinion may be a factor that is taken into consideration by members when considering the application and the substantial costs that would then be incurred defending such proceedings.”

Meanwhile, Chris Smith from Plan A Limited on behalf of Lidl, has said it has “concerns with the lawfulness” of the case presented by Aldi and has sought its own legal advice.

He added: “We trust that you will agree that there is a reasonable likelihood that the proposed Aldi store could very well have a significant adverse impact on Whitchurch Town Centre and, therefore, a ‘significant adverse impact’ should be stated in the grounds for refusing planning permission.”

Email:

emily.davies@nwn.co.uk

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