This applies to the total farcical way the authority is dealing with the application by Aldi to build a new store on the site of the former Parrs rock factory at Alder Road, which has dragged on for more than four years.

Despite what appears to be public support for the proposal the planning committee seem to be able to create reasons to continue to defer issuing a decision – the latest being the requirement to examine in more detail if there is demand for the allocated use of the site for a care home.

It must be clear after all of this time that there is no taker for this use, but despite this the elected members continue to shy away from giving the go ahead for the Aldi store.

One reason for refusal put forward by the planning officer earlier in the year was a concern that by granting approval this would impact on the future trading prospects for the Aldi store at Wallisdown.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with planning it is a purely a question of commercial viability that must be left to Aldi to decide.

If they had concerns I am sure they would not have secured the site in the first place.

The committee member Bob Lawton sums it up very well by saying “I do not see many care homes queueing up to use the site. In 10 years time we could end up still with a derelict site”.

The patience shown by Aldi is incredible. Many operators would by now have given up after more than four years of trying so I wish them well in their efforts to get past the post.

It has been announced by Costco that they have a requirement to open a new store in the BCP area which would need to be about 10acres for retail/wholesale use the nearest store to here being in Southampton.

If they do manage to locate a suitable site I can only wish them the best of luck in having to deal with the local planning set up and prepare for a planning battle.

With the time scale for other major projects in this area running into years to get a result (The Sandbanks Hotels-The Hotel on Poole Quay-Winter Gardens site etc etc ) I would venture to suggest that they should allow at least five years which may be a touch optimistic before being able to establish if there is any hope of succeeding.


Catalina Drive, Poole