HOPES of a new Aldi store to replace a derelict former confectionery building where vulnerable people have been sleeping look set to hit the buffers this week.

The proposed demolition of the vacant employment buildings in Alder Road by the discount supermarket chain have been recommended for refusal to BCP Council's planning committee.

A planning officer says the site had been allocated for a care home development and insufficient evidence was provided to move away from this designation.

As previously reported, Aldi last month called on the council to provide certainty by making a decision on its application for the Parrs Quality Confectionery site, having submitted its proposals in early 2018.

However, the plans for a food store and a separate coffee shop appear some way off if committee members side with the planning officer when they meet on Thursday (November 21).

Planning officer Steve Llewellyn's report to the committee says: "The proposed development would result in a significant level of trade diversion from the existing Aldi store that is located within the defined Wallisdown local centre due to the overlapping catchment of the existing and proposed stores that could lead to the closure of the existing store."

A total of 112 car parking spaces and a new pedestrian crossing in the retail park are included in the proposal.

The site was earmarked for a care home as part of Poole Local Plan’s scheme in November 2016.

Concerns from residents state the Aldi plans undermine the strategy of the Local Plan, replicate other retail offers already in the area and will heighten congestion on Pottery Junction Roundabout.

There were also representations in favour, stating that a care home is illogical as it is a business park, the new store will create jobs for local people and will remove the “anti-social behaviour” on the site.

Council enforcement officers said that vulnerable teenagers had been sleeping in and around the empty building.

Natural England, BCP highways, environmental services and flood risk department all raised no serious concerns, meanwhile Go South Coast objected to the proposal, reiterating that it is against Poole Local Plan’s care home use of the site.

In 2014, Aldi were refused planning permission to open a store from a neighbouring unit at Poole Retail Park, stating a supermarket would be "inappropriate on a retail park designated for DIY retail and bulky good sales".

Concerns were also raised earlier in the year that the new store would force the Wallisdown Aldi to close.

The application is being put before the committee at the request of former councillors Elaine Atkinson and Xena Dion due to the interests of local residents and the transport impacts of the proposal.