MAJOR plans to build a new Aldi supermarket will be decided this week after a rival retailer lodged legal challenges at the High Court against the council on its initial approval. 

A final decision, nearly three years in the making, will be made this week at a council planning committee meeting to decide if the retailer can build a supermarket on Alder Road, Poole.

In December, a judicial review was launched at the High Court because the council “failed to provide adequate reasons for its decision” when it granted planning permission last year.

Bournemouth Echo: The Tangerine Sugar Confectionery factory, Alder RoadThe Tangerine Sugar Confectionery factory, Alder Road (Image: Daily Echo)

The High Court ruled in favour of Asda, which submitted the legal challenge.

The retailer said the planning committee had “failed to give adequate reasons” to overturn the officer’s recommendation for refusal and a consent order quashing the decision that was issued in March. 

Read more: Aldi plans for Poole take a step closer

Lee McCandless, property director for Aldi, said: “We’re frustrated that the intervention of a rival retailer on a point of process has delayed the opening of this development. We’re grateful to the council for the time they’ve spent helping to resolve this.

“We now hope councillors still feel able to support these plans and pave the way for this new store and coffee shop.

“Support is clear. We’re grateful for the hundreds of people who have written to the council to support these plans. This is overwhelming and gives councillors a clear mandate to back the plans, and give the people of Branksome the new, high-quality, discount food store and coffee shop they clearly want and need.”

More than 351 comments in support of the proposal have been submitted on the council's planning portal, with just 11 objections.

Bournemouth Echo: Aldi's proposed shop in Alder RoadAldi's proposed shop in Alder Road (Image: Aldi)

Planning officer Laura Archer has recommended the supermarket for refusal at the planning committee, to be held on Thursday, April 20. 

She said: “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.

Read more: Aldi plans for Alder Road awaiting decision after 18 months

“[…] The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposed development would not have a significant adverse impact on the health of, and existing investment within, the Wallisdown local centre.” 

In 2016, plans were approved at the site for a 70-bed residential care home and 32 extra care apartments following the closure of the Tangerine Sugar Confectionery factory in 2013.

Ms Archer also noted the development would result in the loss of the proposed care home which would otherwise deliver “suitable housing to meet the needs of an ageing population”.