A THIRD Aldi store is necessary in Chester to soak up the excess demand for the budget supermarket's goods, it is claimed.
The company's property director, George Brown, told the council's planning committee this week that the existing stores on Sealand Road and Tarvin Road are “too busy”.
He also stressed the new outlet, on the site of the former Mercedes garage on Cousens Way, would create 40 jobs and £1 million a year in wages for local people.
Mr Brown also sought to allay fears about increased traffic levels saying Aldi would pay £650,000 towards highways improvements in the area.
Members of Cheshire West and Chester Council's planning committee later approved the application by seven votes to four.
Mr Brown told members the plans were designed to “fill a gap in Aldi's representation in the north of Chester”.
He added: “Our stores on Sealand Road and Tarvin Road trade exceptionally well to the point where they are too busy and deter new customers.
“This application will take pressure off off these stores while giving local residents a high quality discount option in the north of the city.”
Mr Brown also suggested Aldi had been advised by a barrister that they would win an appeal, should the application be rejected, with the council liable to pay legal costs.
A number of councillors said they had no issues with Aldi as a company but expressed concerns that the move would cause unacceptable traffic issues.
Cllr Richard Beacham said it was a “flawed application”, adding: “I'm just against the use of the site, not against a new Aldi.”
Cllr Jill Houlbrook agreed, saying: “This is not the right application in the right place.”
Tesco and Asda had objected saying the new supermarket would pull too much trade away from their stores in the area of the Sealand Way Neighbourhood Centre.
The application was also opposed by Upton Parish Council.
In a report to the planning committee, case officer Bethany Brown recommended the plans for approval.
She highlighted that Highways officers had looked at traffic issues and concluded the new supermarket would not have too big an impact.
See full story in the Chester Leader