A proposed Aldi discount food store within a mixed-use redevelopment in a Suffolk town centre has been ruled acceptable by an inspector who concluded that it would not harm the vitality and viability of an historic market town.
Planning permission had already been granted for a non-food scheme on the site, which contained an old waterworks, but the original developers had withdrawn. As an alternative, Boden Properties Ltd proposed to demolish the derelict waterworks building, erect a supermarket and smaller unit shops and convert an existing building to offices.
The inspector agreed that there was no requirement to demonstrate a need for the supermarket because the site lay within the town centre and would enable linked trips between the historic core and the store.
He concluded that the scheme would not harm the character of the town's conservation area and that the mix of uses proposed accorded with a local plan policy seeking the site's redevelopment in a manner commensurate with the character and function of the town centre.
DCS No: 38418689; Inspector: Robert Forster; Inquiry.