Lewes, East Sussex

Approval was secured on behalf of ALDI Stores for a new food store at an edge-of-centre location in Lewes, with officers and members expressing support for the benefits of introducing a discount store to the town.

We originally secured planning permission for a mixed-use scheme, with a start-up business facility above the ALDI food store. At the time our application was submitted, in 2007, the site was in use as a paper mill and the employment element of the mixed-use proposals was incorporated to offset the loss of an existing employment use. Apart from the creation of new employment opportunities, the proposed scheme offered many benefits, including: the provision of an additional town centre car park facility, enhanced food shopping choice, and regeneration of the site.

Through successful negotiation of the design and start-up business elements, a positive officer recommendation was secured, and the application was supported at planning committee.

However, due to viability issues associated with the delivery of the start-up business space, we were subsequently instructed to submit a second application for a standalone retail scheme. The application was approved at committee in 2011, subject to an off-site financial contribution, to allow for the loss of employment floor space.

Having secured planning permission for the new store, we have subsequently submitted applications to vary conditions, in accordance with ALDI’s operational requirements.

Summary of achievements

  • Coordination of pre-application discussions with the local planning authority
  • Production of a detailed planning statement and retail impact assessment
  • Coordination of planning application and submission
  • Coordination of a community consultation exercise, issuing a consultation leaflet and meeting with key local stakeholders
  • Project management of consultant team
  • Representation of client at committee
  • Negotiation of an acceptable S106 agreement
  • Permission secured in 2011
  • Reduction of restrictions placed on original consent to meet client’s requirements