Budget superstore battle looms as plans revealed for two new supermarkets in Wigan

Store wars have been declared in a Wigan township as rival budget supermarket giants unveil plans to build new outlets on derelict sites.

By Gaynor Clarke
Friday, 21st January 2022, 12:30 pm

Aldi wants to relocate from its current building on Princess Road in Ashton to the former Arnold Clark site on Wigan Road in Bryn.

Meanwhile, a planning application has been submitted to erect a new Lidl supermarket on the former gas works site on Princess Road in Ashton, which has not been used for many years.

The proposals have so far met with a mixed reaction from people living in the area, who want to see the empty sites transformed but are concerned about the traffic impact of the supermarkets.

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The site on Princess Road, Ashton, where a new Lidl supermarket could be built

Ashton councillor Danny Fletcher said: “I do fully support making use of derelict eyesores in Ashton and Bryn. However, any proposal will need the backing of the community. The recent applications for Aldi and Lidl do appear to be well supported by the bulk of the community.

“However, there are concerns about the road infrastructure in Ashton, which has been a problem for a long time. I have raised these concerns in the seven months since I was elected and one of the reasons I did stand for election was to improve the road infrastructure.

“However, I do feel the two proposals for Lidl and Aldi do ensure an opportunity to make use of derelict land, which does not include taking the precious green belt that we have campaigned to protect in Ashton with Keep Ashton Green for over a year now. For example, Lidl want to build a store on a piece of land in Ashton that has been derelict for 40 years. Aldi is hoping to relocate its Ashton store to the former Arnold Clark site in Bryn, which has been derelict for two years. The Arnold Clark site is a visible feature in and out of Bryn.”

Aldi’s proposals are at an early stage and a planning application has not yet been submitted to Wigan Council, but the firm is asking people what they think about a possible relocation.

Coun Danny Fletcher

They want to build a new store on the former Arnold Clark site and will include a car park with 116 spaces, landscaping and space for public art.

The site has been vacant since March 2020, when the car dealership closed for the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic and failed to reopen.

The proposals for Lidl are more advanced, with a planning application submitted to the council’s planning department for what would be the firm’s eighth supermarket in the borough.

It would be located on Princess Road, at the junction with York Road, and include a sales area, warehouse delivery area, freezer room, bakery, manager’s office, staff welfare facilities and customer toilets. The car park would have space for 77 vehicles.

Lidl would employ 40 full-time equivalent staff and the store would open from 7am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 5pm on Sundays and weekends.

Find out more about the plans for Aldi and have your say at aldiconsultation.co.uk/ashton-in-makerfield/

Details of Lidl’s planning application can be found by searching for A/21/92702/MAJOR on Wigan Council’s website.

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