Chippy town councillors have expressed their support for the proposed ALDI store on Banbury Road.
At this week’s town council meeting, a discussion was held about the planning application that the company has submitted to West Oxfordshire District Council – the town council submits its views for consideration before WODC makes a decision.
Councillors noted that public support appeared to be overwhelmingly in favour of the store. They also expressed their opinions that as a protest group had not been formed to lobby against the proposals – unlike in the previous case of the Sainsbury’s proposals, where SCOOTS was formed – this was likely to indicate acceptance of the plans by the community.
In a vote held to gauge councillors’ views, ten councillors said they approved of the plans, and four said they had reservations. The council will now signify its general support of the plans to West Oxfordshire District Council.
However, it will also register potential concerns about pavement access and traffic issues. The councillors will suggest that a box junction might be needed on the Banbury Road by the access road to the proposed store.
Other concerns about lorry movements and potential noise from industrial fans on the site affecting local residents were discussed by councillors, with some noting that fan noise was much reduced from what it had used to be and being unlikely to cause disruption.
In addition, ALDI had already stated that lorries were likely to use the site only a couple of times a day – and, of course, lorries already drive through Chippy to deliver to Sainsbury’s and Co-op.
A word of caution was advised by Councillor Jo Graves – “Be careful what you wish for”. She was concerned that approving the ALDI store could mean the long-term development of both London and Banbury Roads. It might also set a precedent for sites previously earmarked for employment – and in particular, council-owned sites – being sold on for other purposes.
But for now, we wait to hear what West Oxfordshire’s planners say about the proposals. Watch this space.