Years of misery that residents, shoppers and traders have suffered due to the vandal-hit eyesore Ravens Court, on the High Street, will finally end when the company relocates its Brownhills operation onto the site.
Walsall Council’s planning committee is expected to approve an application to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with a 1,880 sqm new superstore.
Aldi will close its existing store, which is located near Ravens Court, once the new supermarket is up and running.
The old shopping centre has been empty for a number of years and attracted complaints due to anti-social behaviour, arson attacks, rats on site and fly-tipping.
Hopes had been raised of solutions in the past but a plan for Tesco to take over the site in 2014 and then, five years later, a proposal for a new gym and retail units both proved to be false dawns.
When news of Aldi’s acquisition of the site emerged last year neighbouring business owners, residents and councillors all hailed the news.
If approved, the new store will operate 7am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 5pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays. It is expected to create around 40 new jobs.
Agents Turley Planning said: “The existing site is vacant, and in a current state of disrepair and it has been a long-standing objective of the council to redevelop and regenerate the area.
“If the proposal is granted planning permission, the existing Aldi store to the north will close. The existing store is old and outdated with compromised parking and access arrangements.
“The application proposal provides an opportunity to regenerate the site, plus also to deliver a new Aldi store for the residents and visitors to the centre.”
In a report to the planning committee, officers said the proposal had garnered support from people who welcomed the redevelopment of the site, new jobs and convenient shopping.
Several objections had been made around the potential impact the construction phase and the new store might have on neighbours.
But the report said: “The existing shopping precinct is vacant, it is considered the redevelopment of the site with new retail would enhance the vitality and viability of the District Centre.
“The design of the proposed development is considered acceptable.
“The proposed development would not unduly harm the amenities of these neighbouring commercial properties to warrant refusal of the proposal.”
Planning committee members will meet on December 1 to discuss the proposal and are being recommended to back the scheme, subject to conditions.