GROWING retailer Aldi has revealed its intentions to set up another store in Portsmouth.
The firm wants to redevelop the former Paulsgrove Industrial Estate site on Southampton Road, near to Tesco North Harbour.
Whatever the planning merits, there is clearly popular support from Portchester residents for a Lidl store in their area, so I suspect the local community in Paulsgrove may well back this too.Portsmouth’s Tory planning boss Luke Stubbs
And it’s a battle of the discount stores as Lidl seeks to build a mile up the same road towards Portchester.
Aldi’s proposed store would create 40 jobs, and about 1,900 residents have been sent letters asking for their feedback.
Portsmouth’s Tory planning boss, Cllr Luke Stubbs, believes the plans will be welcomed, despite concerns over the impact it could have on nearby shopping areas.
He said: ‘Whatever the planning merits, there is clearly popular support from Portchester residents for a Lidl store in their area, so I suspect the local community in Paulsgrove may well back this too.
‘The original masterplan for the Tesco site envisaged a retail unit – albeit not a food store – on the still undeveloped land by KFC and in some ways that would be a better site. However, given the mix of businesses now there I don’t really think an Aldi on the industrial centre site would be out of place.’
Paulsgrove Labour councillor John Ferrett said: ‘If we are going to have a supermarket there, then there are going to be concerns about the viability of Allaway Avenue.
‘We already have the Tesco, and there is also going to be a development with the future Lidl store.’
Shoppers queued to use a new Aldi store in Mumby Road, Gosport, which opened this week. Plans have already been revealed for a new discount supermarket, with Aldi and Lidl in the frame, at Locks Heath Shopping Village.
An Aldi spokesman said: ‘We believe there is a real need for a new food store in the area, as currently no discount convenience retailer is represented in the north of Portsmouth.’
ALDI says the proposed 1,254sq m store would be ‘modest’ in size and provide 124 car parking spaces, including four disabled and nine parent and child slots.
And the firm is keen to get the views of the community prior to submitting a planning application to Portsmouth City Council.
Residents who want to submit views should call the project’s freephone information line on 0800 298 7040 or visit aldiconsultation.co.uk/paulsgrove
Local Ukip councillor Stuart Potter had originally hoped the industrial site could be turned into a hub for small and medium sized businesses as he believed there were not enough opportunities in the area.