Aldi unveils plans for bigger store in Oakham

The site where Aldi want to build a supermarket off the A606 in Oakham. EMN-140810-125208001
The site where Aldi want to build a supermarket off the A606 in Oakham. EMN-140810-125208001

A supermarket which already has planning permission to build in Oakham has revealed it hopes to build a bigger store.

Discount food chain Aldi was given planning permission for a 1, 485sqm store in Lands’ End Way, Oakham, following a huge show of public support.

Now the store says it has agreed a legal position for an adjoining piece of land, measuring 0.3 acres, which would provide enough space for a store 20 per cent larger than originally planned.

The news comes as Sainsbury’s revealed it no longer wanted to build a supermarket on the old Tresham College site.

Aldi said its announcement followed the “recent news that the anticipated Sainsbury’s is not currently in their build programme, and that Tesco are not committing to increase the size of their existing store”.

An Aldi spokesman said: “As the only food retailer committed to investing in Oakham, Aldi understands the importance of delivering the best proposal that we can. Since we announced our initial plans to invest in the town, we’ve had overwhelming support from the local community.

“Whilst the proposed store is only slightly bigger than in our previous plans, it would provide a better shopping experience for customers to circulate around the store and a greater number of tills, together with a slightly larger car park.”

The spokesman said an amended planning application would be submitted to Rutland County Council in the coming weeks.

He added: “Our proposal represents a multi-million pound investment that would create approximately 40 full and part-time jobs as well as improving choice and reducing the need for people to travel out of town to complete their food shopping.”

The new planned stored would have a net sales area of 1,254sqm, alongside 122 car parking spaces.

As Aldi would still sell the same number of product lines, the revised proposal will allow a more spacious layout with wider aisles.

Last month, a spokesman for Aldi told the Mercury it was committed to building in Oakham and hoped to open in 2016, but refused to comment on when building work would start.

Aldi’s plans were originally approved in October when Rutland County Council’s development control and licensing committee voted in favour of the application, despite officers recommending the plans be refused.

More than 250 people - the majority in favour - packed into the meeting and 460 letters of support were sent to the council, as well as an online petition.

Sainsbury’s won permission to demolish the former Rutland County College site in Barleythorpe Road, Oakham, and cleared the site in preparation for work to start. But this week the company said the site was “no longer viable”.

Tesco won planning permission to extend it’s store in South Street in 2011. In 2013, Tesco said the expansion was hold while it waited to see what happened with Sainsbury’s plans.