Wirral’s Planning Committee has given consent for the demolition of the current Aldi building on Woodchurch Road and the building of a new store.
One consequence is that two businesses – Home Bargains and Vets 4 Pets – which currently lease space in the current building will be forced to re-locate.
This has caused considerable anger among users of these businesses, but the Council is powerless to stop what is a commercial decision by Aldi. The leases for both companies are due to run out next year and Aldi has not intention of renewing them.
The new £5 million store will be set further back from Woodchurch Road and the delivery bay will be further away from residents in Cumberland Avenue.
The plan of the new site shows the new site layout. Oxton’s Lib Dem councillors are concerned about the changed access to the site. One (bottom left on the plan above) will be designed as a left-in, left-out access onto Woodchurch Road. As Councillor Stuart Kelly established at the committee meeting, there would be nothing to stop vehicles turning right onto the busy Woodchurch Road.
The second access (top right) is a changed entrance off Duckpond Lane, with traffic moving in and out and a wider crossing. This is also a pedestrian route to the children’s playground.
Despite assurances from the highways department that these arrangements are satisfactory, Stuart was unconvinced and voted against the application, but the majority of the Planning Committee supported it.
Work on the demolition is expected to begin in the New Year and a representative of Aldi told councillors that it would take 11 months for the new store with its wider shopping aisles to be completed.