In the depths of the recession, discount store Aldi is bucking trend and expanding. And its next investment is in Bristol.
The company, which already has shops in Southmead, Bradley Stoke, Redfield, Bedminster, Thornbury and Weston-super-Mare, last night got the go-ahead for another.
It will open on the old swimming pool site in Crow Lane, Henbury, a few hundred yards from the present shopping parade.
Bristol city councillors on the development control committee unanimously approved the project.
More than 900 people signed a petition backing plans for the Aldi store and it was given a cautious welcome by public speakers at Wednesday afternoon’s meeting.
“It’s a good development, offering deeply discounted goods,” said Tim Parkinson, of the Henbury Community Council.
But he was concerned about car traffic between the Aldi and other shops, and about lack of public transport between more distant parts of the catchment area, such as Brentry, and the new store.
Councillor Derek Pickup (Lab, Henbury) said a new crossing from the shop’s car park to Blaise Primary School opposite would make it safer to take youngsters in and out of school.
He urged Aldi to make a contribution towards the cost of community transport to and from the new store.
The committee heard conditions of approval would limit the lines the Aldi branch could offer, lessening the impact on neighbouring businesses.
Councillor Colin Smith (Lab, Bedminster) told fellow committee members: “This is a good application. The goods that this particular store will be offering will complement and supplement those of the other local facilities.”
But he agreed some sort of contribution to transport funding would be desirable.
The committee attached three further conditions to their approval, including an expectation that Aldi would deliver on its offer to make such a contribution.
Aldi properties director Philip Warner said afterwards: “We will look into all three of these with the planning officers to come up with the right solution. We are delighted with the committee’s decision to approve our new store, which will bring more choice and significant savings to people.”
Plans to build about 40 homes on an adjoining site were withdrawn by Aldi before the meeting. They had been recommended for refusal.