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Local fears over new Aldi to be built near Derbyshire tourist hotspot

today2 September 2022

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A new Aldi superstore is to be built on land near a popular Derbyshire town after a final decision notice was published by the local planning authority. The development, which will include a nursery and a retail park, is planned for land off Ashbourne Road, Harpur Hill, on the outskirts of Buxton.

The plans have been designed to create a new local centre which will is designed to serve the nearby Foxlow Farm residential development and the existing residential and employment development in the surrounding area. The retail park will consist of five units, however the approved application doesn’t specify the uses of retail units planned.

Instead multiple uses have been approved for the retail unit including the potential for a hot food takeaway, veterinary surgery and drinking establishment. The applicant states: “This flexibility will ensure the delivery of a genuine mix of uses and variety of local services and facilities, in addition, such flexibility will assist in securing end occupiers and high levels of occupation in the future to ensure the local centre remains an attractive facility for local people”.

Read more: Work already under way at new Traveller site planned for Derbyshire countryside

There is currently an Aldi supermarket in the town centre, but following this application’s approval plans have been submitted to demolish the building and convert the prominent spot in the town centre into a McDonald’s. This application is currently awaiting a decision.

Many objections had been submitted to High Peak Borough Council (HPBC) about the plans. The close proximity to Buxton town centre has led a handful of people to question why empty retail units in the town centre aren’t being used instead of constructing new units.



The site of a new Aldi supermarket and a retail park near Harpur Hill
The site of a new Aldi supermarket and a retail park near Harpur Hill

Local Eleanor Shaw wrote: “I object to this planning application as, currently the Spring Gardens Shopping Centre, a purpose built retail facility has a number of empty units. These need to be filled to help encourage local businesses already established in the town centre and to encourage footfall in this area”.

Another concern raised by Collette Richer was potential traffic caused by a new residential development nearby. She commented: “The entrance to the proposed retail site would appear to be the same entrance to the new housing development which will contain approx. 400 properties. I believe this will cause considerable issues with traffic on what is a residential road with only one means of entry and exit”.

Andrew Shaw was concerned about the loss of countryside in the area. He wrote: “This is a further erosion of Green belt land. The need for a supermarket and local centre should have been considered in the original application for housing instead of a bolt on after the houses have been built”.

However some submitted messages of support for the planned supermarket and retail park. One local, Paul, wrote: “I wholeheartedly approve this application.

“I can understand people’s concerns about the town centre but with no suitable destinations for a new Aldi, it would be a shame to potentially see a popular store leave the area. After the shutting down of Marks & Spencer it would be silly to reject this and give families less choices when it comes to shopping, especially with the new builds in the area, there is more call for bigger stores to help supply and demand within the area”.

Another local added: “Most other towns have supermarkets on their outskirts so I cannot see that this is any different. Most families have cars and there are buses that run along the Ashbourne Road and to Harpur Hill, and no doubt local bus companies will want to cash in by directing a route to and from the proposed site.”

In a document published on August 31, 2022 the application was given full permission for development. The project will have to start within the next three years in accordance to conditions put in place by HPBC.

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