With the NPPF making retail assessments a standard requirement for edge of centre locations, our planning application seeking a new store on the former site of Thornbury Middle School in Bradford required a robust evidence base that would be able to withstand scrupulous examination.
Leveraging our innate understanding of the retail sector, having delivered over 50 Aldi stores across the north of England, we secured delegated approval after preparing a suite of capacity and sequential studies. These assessments weresupplemented by strong public support as well as a Planning Statement that detailed the economic, social and environmental benefits of the proposals.
Measuring the likely effects and impact consequences of an Aldi in Thornbury, our transparent approach enabled us to detail how the proposals would claw back lost expenditure and introduce a much needed discount foodstore in an area with lower than average income levels.
Experience and know-how
After conducting a series of site visits and defining the catchment area of the proposed new Aldi store, we quantified a series of forecasts after carefully analysing the existing provision and shopping patterns. This enabled us to outline the positive retail impacts, detailing how the proposals would increase local choice and generate linked trips to the existing retailers in the District Centre.
Our evidence withstood stringent scrutiny from the Council’s planning consultants, who agreed with our summation that a number of alternative sites were not viable. The Sequential Assessment we prepared appraised sites on their availability and suitability, demonstrating that there were no sequentially preferable sites that could accommodate the proposed development.
Efficient and effective engagement
Aldi is committed to consultation and is always keen to hear from the communities in which they intend to operate. We issued a community newsletter to nearly 1,500 addresses, with 97% of respondents pledging their support for the proposals. It is always a challenge to replicate this support on the planning file but, after garnering a positive relationship with residents, 33 letters of support were recorded by the Council.
Positive impact on the envrionment
The store incorporates a number of sustainable initiatives and design features, including PV Panels and electric vehicle charging points. Aldi is also committed to a local recruitment campaign, which will ensure that the majority of staff live within walking distance of the proposed foodstore.
Planning Potential worked closely with the Council and statutory consultees to ensure a scheme was delivered that adhered with the client’s operational requirements. This included conditions surrounding opening and delivery hours, helping to meet demand in a competitive market.
We were delighted that the proposals were approved by delegated decision, demonstrating the value in robustly substantiating impact. This has, ultimately, helped Aldi to get consent forthe retail development it wanted.
Summary of achievements and benefits of the proposal
- A focused consultation programme that helped to build support
- Providing technical input and content to the evidence base
- Worked closely with the Council to negotiate a scheme in line with the client’s requirements