Success in securing planning permission for Aldi’s second store in Southampton
31 January 2020
"Planning Potential worked proactively and creatively alongside the wider Aldi consultant team and highways officers to devise an innovative and acceptable revised access arrangement."
Aldi has been seeking further representation in Southampton for many years, so the site at the former East Point Centre, Bursledon Road, presented an exciting opportunity for a new Aldi discount foodstore to serve the eastern area of Southampton. Planning Potential was therefore delighted to be instructed by Aldi to secure planning permission for its second store in the City.
A previous refusal of planning permission for a discount food store and coffee drive thru scheme on this site presented a number of challenges, including matters relating to highways, design, and landscaping. Planning Potential carefully considered the points raised through the previous planning application, which resulted in several key amendments to the proposed revised scheme, including the site layout and landscaping proposals.
Extensive pre-application discussions were initiated with the local planning authority (LPA) and Highways Authority, so that the fundamental highways matters along Bursledon Road could be agreed prior to the submission of the application. Planning Potential worked proactively and creatively alongside the wider Aldi consultant team and highways officers to devise an innovative and acceptable revised access arrangement.
Despite being safeguarded as open space, the site has not been used and has been boarded up for many years, is of very poor quality, is not accessible, and provides no public benefit. Planning Potential worked closely with the landowners of the wider site to overcome this issue by agreeing that replacement open space will be delivered on the adjacent residential development, providing far more usable, functional, and recreational space.
Throughout the process, Planning Potential worked closely with its sister company, Communications Potential, to carry out extensive public and political engagement, which resulted in a significant amount of support for the proposals from local residents. Engagement with local ward councillors also led to a recognition of the substantial benefits the scheme would deliver, and endorsement of an approval. This ultimately led to a majority support at the Council’s Planning and Rights of Way Panel.
Aldi look forward to opening the store later this year (2020), realising the range of benefits this development will deliver.