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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ghost supermarket plan approved by county

llanblogger exclusive



* The supermarket site in Berwyn Street.

Denbighshire County Council has approved plans allowing Aldi and Home Bargains to jointly move into Llangollen’s controversial “ghost” supermarket.

Local county councillor Stuart Davies, who believes the discount retailers could now move in as early as next February, said council planning officers used delegated powers to give the go-ahead to the scheme for the use of the 34,000 sq ft unit off the main A5 road.
The building has stood empty since May 2015 when Sainsbury’s for whom it was built made the shock announcement that they would not be moving in due to a scaling back of their new store developments.

The latest planning application, made in the name of Sainsbury’s who still own the building, sought permission for the subdivision of the existing retail unit and alterations to allow it to trade as two retail units with associated internal and external physical alterations to the building, service yard, customer entrance and forecourt areas.

Cllr Davies said: “As there were only two objectors to the plan officers used delegated powers to approve the application earlier today (Wednesday), so it’s now all systems go.

“In line with the negotiations we had with them, the applicants have agreed to make parking spaces on the site available for a maximum of three hours, which I think is a good deal.

“There’s still some conversion work to be done to make it into two units but I’d take an educated guess that it will be open by February next year.

“Whilst there will be some impact on traders in the town, the jobs at the print factory were secured by this process of developing a supermarket on its former site.

“I believe a vast number of people are in favour of Aldi and Home Bargains moving in. It’s all about jobs for themselves and jobs for their kids.”

The Sainsbury’s pull-out, which they blamed on “adverse trading conditions” at the time, dashed hopes for 130 promised jobs.

The grocery giant announced they wouldn’t themselves be running the store directly and revealed they were looking for potential tenants.

Interest by Aldi and the discount group Home Bargains had often been speculated upon but never confirmed by either company.

Neither Aldi or Home Bargains have yet commented on their interest in the development.

* The application, reference number 03/2016/0887, can be inspected in full via the planning search section of the Denbighshire County Council website at: http://planning.denbighshire.gov.uk

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