Plans for Aldi store in Horncastle set to be given go-ahead

Plans for a new Aldi in Horncastle will be given the go ahead next week.

The proposed Aldi site on Spilsby Road, Horncastle.
The proposed Aldi site on Spilsby Road, Horncastle.

East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee has been recommended to green light the proposals for the new store on land off Spilsby Road at its meeting on Thursday.

The development will include the demolition of an existing petrol station forecourt and a detached house to make way for the new supermarket with car parking accessed by a roundabout.

The application will also seek outline permission for the redevelopment of the petrol station itself to create a new facility and shop.

A report before councillors said the supermarket itself would be 1,808 square metres with 1,315 square metres classed as retail floorspace.

It proposes to open 8am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sundays, with 24 hour deliveries starting at 6am Monday, but only running between 8am to 4pm on Sunday.

The report said the new store will employ between 30 to 40 full and part-time staff.

The petrol station plans are only indicative at this stage but include three fuel islands, a rapid charge electric vehicle point, car wash, toilets and tourist information point. It would be open between 6am to 10pm and would create 15 jobs.

If approved the petrol station would have to return to councillors for reserved matters.

Recommending approval, officers said the Aldi would be on a site that “whilst in an out of centre location would be sequentially acceptable and provide good connectivity with the town centre.”

“Whilst the Aldi supermarket would have a harmful impact on existing businesses, particularly the ‘in centre’ Conging Street Co-op and the ‘edge of centre’ Tesco, it would not result in significant harm to them or the vitality and viability of the town centre,” they said.

“In addition the new store would provide choice and competition and would help to claw back trade leakage from the relevant catchment area.”

The application has support from Horncastle Town Council, though Horncastle History and Heritage Society has concerns over the plans for the site, mainly due to the aesthetic of the building and potential increase of traffic driving through town.

Chairman Dr Ian Marshman said: “One of our concerns is that there will be an increase in people just driving through town to do their shopping and then back out again.

"At the moment, Tesco [on Water Mill Road] is our biggest supermarket and people can park there for free for a few hours, so they’d do their shopping and then wander around town for a bit, whereas they won’t be able to do that on this site, they’ll just have to drive there and then drive home again.

"We’d like to see the Green Wheel cycle path plans brought forward so people will be able to cycle around town easier.

"Also, some of our members are worried it won’t look very nice and its shiny, plastic-looking exterior – it will be the first thing people will see as they come in from the Wolds.”

Dr Marshman said that the HHHS isn’t against the development, and is more in favour of this than plans to bring a Lidl store to town. which will see the loss of Boston Road’s petrol station and three businesses:

"We’re not against the development and we want to move Horncastle forward,” he added, “With the cost of living crisis, having an Aldi is a good thing , but we want people to still come into town and support independent businesses.”

The plans have received six objections based around traffic concerns as well as its competition with the town centre, however, more than 290 letters of support have also praised the store for providing competition, variety and choice and reducing travel across the town.

The Co-operative Group has also objected, criticising the design of the build and raising concerns over how the development will impact on their own store as well as the local Tesco.