01:57PM, Thursday 22 October 2020
How the new Aldi supermarket will look in Windsor
A new Aldi supermarket will occupy a Windsor garden centre after the discount retail firm had an application approved for a new store this week.
Eight councillors voted in favour of the new branch in Dedworth Road at the Royal Borough Development Management Panel yesterday (Wednesday) night.
Planning officer Vicky Gibson said the applicant’s design ‘has a minimal impact on the greenbelt’, and that the building has been kept low in height at approximately 5.5 metres.
Timber cladding will also ‘enhance the building’s overall appearance’, she added.
The virtual meeting heard objections, including from Pat Morish, owner of the nearby Cardinal Clinic mental health unit, and the Grade II listed farmhouse.
Concerns – also raised by opposers Bray Parish Council – surrounded the impact on the greenbelt and Borough Local Plan; impact on neighbours; noise, and air pollution.
It was also mentioned that Aldi would be open for 91 hours a week, as opposed to the existing garden centre’s 54.
Ms Morish said: “After spending the last 45 years developing the clinic to provide tranquility for people with mental illness, it is disappointing to see the planning department recommended to accept this Aldi store.
“The Royal Borough should be looking to enhance the site – not make it almost impossible to function.
“I am passionate about many things, [but] not a superstore to spoil the last remaining area of West Windsor that gives the green open space that is essential for good health.”
Ward councillor Jon Davey (WWRA, Clewer and Dedworth West), added the garden centre offered a ‘fantastic facility for carers’ in a ‘relaxing atmosphere’.
But Lib Dem councillors said that councillors were voting for a new Aldi – not to keep the existing facilities.
“I feel like we are getting too involved in the arguments for keeping the garden centre, which is not what we are being offered here,” said Clewer East’s Cllr Amy Tisi.
Cllr Josh Reynolds (Lib Dem, Furze Platt) agreed, saying ‘there is not necessarily a need for this to go through; [Aldi] could just take it’.
He added: “Refusing this application does not mean we get to keep a garden centre. Overall, I think it is a really positive development.”
Alan Williams, representing Aldi, said that there are ‘currently no controls on goods that can be sold from the premises, or on the operation of the business’.
He added that ‘any retailer’ could occupy the site.
“The application represents a multi-million investment into the local economy,” Mr Williams said.
“There are currently no discount food stores in Windsor, meaning this proposal includes an improved shopping choice for west Windsor residents.
“Our application complies with relevant policies at all levels and does not rely on the emerging BLP.”
Conditions were added to the application – including the store opening until 5pm on Sunday’s, as opposed to 6pm.
An additional condition - for the rear end of the store to not be used for parking or storage of goods in association with Aldi – was also added.
Eight councillors voted with officer’s recommendations to permit the application, with Cllr Leo Walters (Con, Bray) abstaining.
Speaking after the decision was made, Lee McCandless, Aldi’s Regional Property Director, said: “We’re delighted with the members’ decision to approve our plans for Dedworth Road.
"Over the past few months, we’ve worked closely with the community to create a sensitively designed scheme which reflects the character of the area and will provide tangible economic and community benefits for local people.
“We look forward to becoming a part of the West Windsor community and hope to have the store up and running in time for Christmas next year.”