Hedge comment stops Aldi plans going to committee

Braintree and Witham Times: Hedge comment stops Aldi plans going to committee Hedge comment stops Aldi plans going to committee

The row over a new Aldi store in Witham is continuing after town councillors claimed it was wrongly refused.

The budget supermarket is set to open on the Maltings Estate and has already been granted overarching planning permission as part of the masterplan for the site.

In November a council officer made a delegated decision to refuse the detailed planning application on design grounds.

Witham Town Council has since argued that as it had recommended it for approval, as long as hedge remained, the officer should not have taken the decision.

Councillor Paul Ryland, chair of the town’s planning committee, wrote to Braintree Council chief executive Nicola Beach saying the decision was against council policy.

A Braintree Council spokesman said: “In this instance conditional support was given by the town council, i.e. support for the application on the basis that certain conditions were met.

“This is not regarded as complete support for the application, but rather as ‘comment’.

“As such the Development Manager will make a decision on whether this comment warrants going to committee.

“In this particular case outline planning permission has been given for the site, and the application was refused due to design issues.”

The store, which would be 990sqm, could create up to 20 jobs.

Martin Sylvester, director of Churchmanor Estates which is developing the site, said he hopes to lodge an appeal in the New Year.

He said: “The standard Aldi design has been approved by a number of local authorities.”

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