SUPERMARKET chain Aldi believes Tameside Council will put the creation of up to 50 new jobs at risk, even though it has not yet turned down an application to build a new store.
However, rivals Tesco have spoken out against plans to put it at the Snipe Retail Park.
The authority’s Speakers Panel (Planning) committee voted to defer rather than reject the proposal for Aldi to build at the front of the site at its meeting on Wednesday, February 16 so it can find out more about potential consequences on traffic problems.
Aldi says it will appeal the call if it is eventually rejected and documents revealed the way Tesco has told them they did not want one so close to its Droylsden branch, along with an agency looking to market another former supermarket in the town.
Under the plan, which would take in the area occupied by Pizza Hut and the former Carphone Warehouse retail unit, 85 new parking spaces would be created and the internal estate road would be realigned.
Significant other roadwork would see the width of the Snipe Way/Manchester Road junction increased, among other changes.
However, documents – which recommended refusal – state: “The local highway network is operating at capacity and the additional traffic associated with the store would result in additional congestion to the detriment of the free flow of traffic movement and overall highway safety.”
In all, about 120 letters of objection have been received including objections from New Era Properties and Tesco.
New Era says it is currently marketing a ‘preferable, suitable and available retail unit’ within Droylsden town centre which they hope to be occupied by a discount food operator.
They also say: “The Droylsden town centre site would achieve wider regeneration benefits for Droylsden.”
Tesco has taken aim at Aldi, saying they ‘object on the lack of consideration by the applicant to the potential impact on defined centres and failure to have proper regard to relevant case law in the interpretation of the sequential approach.’
They also claim there is ‘inadequate and erroneous sequential assessment with the omission of Denton from the search area’ and ‘insufficient assessment of an alternative site in Droylsden town centre and the applicant fails to demonstrate adequate flexibility.’
They add: “Aldi’s assertion that the opportunity at Droylsden Shopping Centre is too close to an existing store places an inappropriate constraint on testing.”
Aldi contest claims the site was not considered suitable, saying Droylsden is not a realistic alternative and the Snipe site offered significant benefits.
They also state: “Aldi has undertaken significant work in the area to identify potential sites for a new store, but none in the local area, including Droylsden Shopping Centre, meet the operational requirements for a new, modern food store.
“Aldi is committed to the site and believes that the Council’s recommendations are unjustified.”
A spokesperson said: “A new Aldi store at Snipe Retail Park would bring significant benefits to the area.
“It would create new jobs, unlock investment in the site and provide unbeatable value groceries for local shoppers, which is now becoming even more important for many people.
“The officers’ concerns do not justify rejecting the proposal and consequently losing the benefits that can be realised.
“There is no other site suitable in the local area for a new, modern food store and the investment from Aldi would greatly improve the quality of the site.
“We are committed to this site and want to deliver the scheme for the benefit of the people of Tameside.
“Rejecting this application would be wrong, not just for local people but the borough as a whole.
Local people have told us they want to see a new store here and we will continue to fight for them.”