05:24PM, Tuesday 14 April 2020
Proposals for a new Aldi store in Dedworth were discussed during a virtual consultation today (Tuesday).
The meeting, which took place on the video conferencing app Zoom, gave members of the West Windsor Residents Association the chance to give feedback on proposals for the budget supermarket chain to replace the garden centre in Dedworth Road.
Last year Aldi agreed a deal to buy part of the site occupied by British Garden centres (formerly Wyevale).
The plans involve a new supermarket which would be open 8am-10pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am-4pm on Sunday with 117 car parking spaces.
During the consultation residents were told that Aldi had been looking to expand in Windsor for 15 years and it would expect the shop to be used by 20,000 people.
Alan Williams, planning consultant for the scheme, said the development would secure ‘the long term retail use of the site’ and would have wider economic benefits including high quality low priced goods, 40 new jobs and reduce the need for people to travel to other discount shops.
He said Windsor was not served by any discount supermarket chains, and the nearest Aldi supermarkets were in Chertsey, West Drayton and Bracknell.
Results of an earlier consultation, sent to 7,000 households and businesses in the area, had 1,124 responses, with 83 per cent of those being in favour of the plans.
However a number of respondents also said they were concerned about losing the community café.
When asked why a café could not be considered as part of the development, Lee McCandless, property director at Aldi said: “We do understand this is something people want but unfortunately our model doesn’t allow for a café in store, there is not space in the site with the car park and it’s not something we can achieve.”
Residents also asked how the scheme would fit into the Borough Local Plan (BLP) as the site sits in an area which has been earmarked for 450 new homes.
Mr Williams said Aldi had been in discussion with the council and that the ‘aspirations of the emerging BLP could still be met on the wider site’. He also added that even if the BLP was not adopted, the Aldi development could still be granted planning permission as the new building would be replacing an existing building which also provides retail.
The meeting was also told Aldi is preparing a planning application which would be submitted to the Royal Borough ‘soon’.
A new Christmas light trail will open up at Windsor Great Park in November run by the same events company behind Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.