DISCOUNT supermarket chain Aldi is planning to open a new store just a stone’s throw away from a large Tesco in the New Forest.

The firm has earmarked a site off Caird Avenue in New Milton where the rival chain have an established superstore and petrol station.

Aldi is working with New Milton Sand & Ballast to bring forward the proposals for an area of land currently owned by the sand and gravel providers.

The retail firm are currently not in a position to submit a planning application, however, a spokesperson said they wish to proceed with the planning process “as soon as possible”.

The current nearest Aldi store for New Milton residents is in Christchurch on Meteor Retail Park.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “Aldi knows its customers are currently travelling out of the New Milton area for its award-winning offer, and has been interested in opening a local store for some time.

“A site has become available on Caird Avenue and Aldi has been working with the site owners to bring the site forward.

“Aldi is now in the process of compiling a formal planning application, and will be providing further details to both local residents and stakeholders prior to submission.”

Aldi, which is based in Germany, has grown in the United Kingdom in recent years, with a grocery market share of 7.9 per cent for the 12 weeks up until to the end of June.

Councillor Geoffrey Blunden, who represents Becton ward where the site lies, said: “It is very much in its early stages but I welcome any new retail business in New Milton.

“I think it would be good for New Milton to have more choices.

“On supermarkets, at the moment we have Tesco, Lidl and Morrisons. We used to have the Co-op as well. To have choices across the market is good.

“It is in its early stages and needs to go through due process what I have seen with the location, and, although there isn’t any detail at this stage, I think it will fit in well with the site.”

He also said he had been told the development of a section of the New Milton Sand & Ballast site could bring improvements to the processing centre.

“At the moment you do get dust from time to time coming from the site across Caird Avenue,” said Cllr Blunden. “With the improvements that could take place on the site, there could also be changes to the processing centre, hopefully, which would lead to the removal of dust in the air.”