Houses set to be demolished as Wolverhampton Aldi expansion approved by council
Aldi's plan to expand one of its stores in Wolverhampton has been approved – despite the move meaning two neighbouring houses will be knocked down.
The food retailer finally won a bid to extend its store on Goldthorn Hill this week after a similar development plan was rejected by the council a year ago following huge public protest.
However, the move requires Aldi to buy up two adjacent homes on Goldthorn Hill and half the rear garden of another, in order to demolish them and extend outwards.
The news means that one neighbouring family will now be forced to find somewhere else to live.
Parveen Kaur, a 37-year-old carer who rents her home with husband Harnek Singh and their two young children, said her family would "effectively be homeless" and they would have to find another house after eight years of living there.
Planning bosses in the city received four letters of objection to Aldi’s proposals alongside four letters in support of the development.
Prior to approving the plans, the committee heard from Resident David Ryley who said: “My concerns are specifically the noise levels which can be anticipated during demolition and restructuring work of the store.
“The store will have to close during such work and that could mean a construction period of between 30 and 40 weeks.
“The closure of the store for this amount of time would be a significant disadvantage to the local customers, resulting in them having to move to other stores and perhaps even other districts.
“Finally, the questionable benefits proposed for parking are insignificant when set against the loss of two residential properties, despite their loss being ridiculed in Aldi’s application,” he added.
Property Director for Aldi Hamish Latchem said: “The current store is now too small and has an outdated layout that doesn’t meet the high standards that Aldi prides itself in.
“Difficult decisions have to be taken regarding some of our older stores and the improvements that we are proposing are essential to ensure we can meet customer expectations and maintain its long-term viability.
“Crucially, Aldi functions as the anchor store for Dudley Road local centre and we are eager to continue supporting the community in this way. In a nutshell, if the Aldi store thrives then the community will continue to benefit.”
The proposal for approval was moved by Councillor Anwen Muston and seconded by Councillor Olivia Birch.
Development work will see the existing premises expanded from 940 to 1,260 sq m, with the gross external floor area increasing from 1,394 to 1,767 sq m.