Aldi fails to sway planners in Crewe

The supermarket group’s proposals for a store off University Way in Crewe are again recommended for refusal following deferral at October’s Cheshire East southern planning committee.

Although the scheme in general, which is intended to replace a store at the Grand Junction Retail Park, is regarded as acceptable in areas such as design, impact on retail in Crewe and Haslington and traffic impact, officers argue that greater weight should be given to the site’s allocation for employment use in the Local Plan.

Aldi’s application is for a 19,000 sq ft store, along with 132 car parking spaces, with access off University Way. The GJRP store is described by Aldi as “no longer fit for purpose,” lacking in dedicated parking and being, in views expressed in several representations, cramped.

The proposed replacement store has been designed by the Harris Partnership.

The land at Crewe Green, around a mile outside Crewe town centre, has however been set aside for employment use under Cheshire East’s Local Plan, and has a historic consent for office use from both 2004 and 2010.

Officers recommended refusal ahead of October’s committee, but consideration was deferred for several reasons: to allow reinvestigation of the sequential test in response to a late objection from Savills, for more information on take-up of business space south of the site, and for some consideration of the impact upon smaller retailers.

The view of officers is that the local commercial market is strong, particularly in high-end industrial. Since the deferral, Legat Owen, at the request of the council’s arms-length employment body the Skills & Growth Company has provided a letter outlining the lack of available business space and record occupancy levels.

Nearby Orion Park, to the south of the site, is full, mostly letting or selling prior to completion, while Apollo Park, which is due for completion in January, has pre-let three of six units.

The Skills & Growth Company said: “The site is in a successful employment area, close to a range of major business parks that have already attracted major businesses requiring office and light industrial premises. It is also in an ideal attractive location on the Crewe Green roundabout and is close to the new Crewe Green Link Road and the M6.”

In terms of evidence submitted, JLL has represented Aldi and filed evidence in the sequential test, while Savills acts for GJRP owner Triton.

While WYG, representing Cheshire East, accepted that JLL had seriously examined alternative sites as required by the sequential test – including the Royal Arcade, due to undergo a major redevelopment – it did not accept that development prospects at the GJRP had been exhausted:

“On the basis of the information provided by the applicant to date, and the subsequent submissions by Savills on behalf of Triton, we are not yet satisfied that sufficient evidence has been provided to demonstrate that the sequential test has been passed.”

Approval was given in 2014 for Aldi’s expansion at GJRP, but the consent has now expired.

The southern planning committee meets on Wednesday 28 November.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

I think the ideal site for the above mentioned store would be in the town centre where the Arcade and other shops are to be demolished,it would therefore bring in more shoppers into town.We already have a cinema and bowling alley and that should be sucficeint.

By S.young

Unfortunately we don’t have a bowling alley any more, it’s been repossessed! If there were ample parking space then the town centre would be ideal for Aldi. It would help to grow more footfall in town which we really do need. When I moved here in 1991 it was a thriving town and I loved shopping in Crewe, now it’s sad and depressing.

By Jenny Wright

The council have ruined our once great railway town anything to do with railways has been lost for ever.they should welcome any new developments either in the town or on the fringes the residents veiws are never listened to.lidle and bm in mill Street is another project that should be welcomed.

By Peter owen

Cheshire East planning officers recommend refusal well who’d a thought it?

By Lenny1968

Bring back the market to its original place and put shops back into the Town and build a multi storey car park on the original Bus station land when they move the Bus station nearby to make the Town great again as it used to be years ago. We don’t want to be like other big Towns and City’s just a wonderful Small Town as it was before.

By Suan

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below