Diss, Norfolk

Planning Potential secured unanimous approval at Committee for a relocation of an Aldi store in central Diss to a new site, larger site, on the edge of the town centre.

Aldi’s existing store was outdated and no longer met their requirements, necessitating the need to secure permission for a new larger store to allow the retailer to remain in Diss. The former Feathers Mill site on Park Road was identified for relocation following a thorough review of potential sites.

Being conscious of the sensitivity over Aldi vacating their town centre store, Planning Potential initiated early pre-application discussions with officers and key local stakeholders presenting the case for relocation and securing Aldi in the town for many years to come. This engagement ensured agreement between parties on the level of justification required, which included the need for detailed retail impact and sequential assessments.

Planning Potential coordinated the consultant team in preparing a detailed planning application whilst also managing an effective pre-submission public consultation, securing wide local support for Aldi’s relocation plans. This also involved dialogue with Ward Councillors and a presentation to the Town Council prior to submission.

Following submission, Planning Potential built on these positive pre-application discussions, securing the early support of the Council’s independent retail advisor which was instrumental in addressing objections submitted by a convenience retail competitor within the town. Planning Potential also managed detailed discussions on other technical matters, including highways, flooding / drainage and design, with the result being no objections on file from statutory consultees.

This resulted in a strong officer’s recommendation to Committee and, despite further detailed objections in the run up to Committee, Members expressed unanimous support for the proposals.

Summary of achievements

  • Detailed pre-application discussions
  • Coordinating consultant team
  • Pre-application consultation
  • Preparing detailed Retail Impact and Sequential Assessments
  • Securing unanimous support at Committee despite objections
  • Negotiating conditions