Labour councillors agreed to sell the Bolton Road car park to Aldi weeks before an expected planning application from the supermarket chain, it has been revealed.
Aldi want to build a new supermarket on the former Glebe Mill site, turning the public car park into one for the supermarket.
In return for the sale of the land, which has been approved by Bolton Council’s Labour executive member, a new public car park would be build behind King Street, with an entrance from Library Street.
The agreement to sell the land before any planning application has been approved will almost certainly raise eyebrows among Westhoughton residents.
The low-cost supermarket has recently issued a consultation document to residents asking for their views.
In the document, which you can read here, it said: “Aldi, the premium discount food retailer, is considering submitting a planning application to Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council to provide a new neighbourhood foodstore on Bolton Road, Westhoughton. Aldi is proposing to deliver its new foodstore on the site of the former mill and current Council Car Park.
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“The provision of a new Aldi foodstore in Westhoughton would bring enhanced benefits to the whole community. The proposals would bring a brand new custom built store designed to complement existing offerings on Market Street and provide more choice for local residents.
“A new Aldi would provide residents with the opportunity to purchase deeply discounted quality products. Aldi customers save between 20 and 50 percent on their shopping without compromising on quality, with everyday items available at low prices, giving residents an alternative to traditional supermarkets.”
The nearest existing Aldi store to the proposed new store is some 3 miles away on Atherton Road, Wigan.
Aldi stores usually open between 8am and 10pm Monday to Saturday and between 10am and 4pm on Sundays.
A new Aldi food store is proposed with a net sales area of 1,254m² and a gross internal area of 1,852m². The development will also include:
- 99 car parking spaces for the foodstore, including; 6 accessible spaces, 5 staff spaces and 9 Parent and Child Spaces
- Free car parking for up to 90 minutes
- Vehicular access achieved via Bolton Road
- Up to 40 full and part time jobs for local people
- Landscaping to enhance the appearance of the site
The supermarket said: “Aldi is keen to transform this underutilised site by introducing a contemporary, high-quality development to the area.”
Car parking changes
The proposed development will include two car parks. The existing council operated and free car park will be moved from the eastern part of the site to the west and will be accessed via Library Street which will be resurfaced as part of this scheme. The new car park will provide 76 car parking spaces – more than the current council car park. The existing car park will be redeveloped as part of the Aldi store and will provide 99 customer car parking spaces. Customer access will be retained from Bolton Road.
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