New Aldi on Northampton outskirts given go-ahead and could open early next year
Concerns about the 'ugly' building and traffic queues not enough to stop granting planning permission
A new Aldi supermarket could open on the outskirts of Northampton by early next year after being granted planning permission last night (Wednesday, March 24).
Daventry District Council's planning committee was split on whether or not to approve the new store off the A43 between Moulton and Overstone so chairman Steve Osborne had the deciding vote.
Concerns were raised about its design and impact on traffic but the officer had recommended granting the scheme, which has already been agreed in principle.
Councillor David James said a good design does not mean it has to be pretty, adding: "What is a supermarket or food store supposed to look like?
"Is it supposed to look like some repetition of a large country house just to fit into its surroundings of a housing estate or two away. That is a sore point with me on that one.
"As far as I'm concerned this ticks all the boxes. There's obviously going to be a need there."
The land has been earmarked for a shop as part of the Overstone Leys 'sustainable urban extension', agreed in 2015, as well as 2,000 homes, a school and a care home.
The 1,842sqm supermarket's entrance would be off the newly-built Sywell Road and have a car park with more than 140 spaces.
Three councillors complained about its design, which had been revised from the original application, and it 'sticking out' in the area, which is still rural but will be developed eventually.
Stephen Dabbs said: "My biggest issue is the design of the store. I think 'ugly building' is how you would describe it.
"I think a lot more could be done to improve the design of it so it doesn't look how it's suggested."
Jonathan Harries echoed those comments but admitted Aldi will have its own design standards while Moulton councillor Daniel Cribbin believed the application should be deferred to allow for further discussions.
Overstone Parish Council chairman John Austin described the building as 'ugly' and said it would be a crime to allow it go ahead.
Councillors Cribbin and Austin was also worried about the potential traffic queues onto the A43 roundabout with the entrance on Sywell Road being so close by.
They suggested a separate entrance and exit but Northamptonshire County Council's highways department had no issues with the planned access.
Aldi's representative, Dan Templeton, said: "The Aldi store represents the first step to develop local centre facilities for the Overstone area and with your approval is capable of being completed in early 2022."