Discount supermarket chain submits plans to open store at former Wigan car showroom

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A budget supermarket chain has officially submitted plans to build a new £5m store on the “derelict eyesore” site of a former car showroom.

The Arnold Clark site on Wigan Road, Bryn, has been vacant since the dealership closed its doors in March 2020, at the start of the first coronavirus lockdown, and did not reopen.

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Now, 18 months since the Wigan Post revealed Aldi was considering opening a new supermarket there, a planning application has been submitted to Wigan Council.

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The Arnold Clark showroom closed in March 2020The Arnold Clark showroom closed in March 2020
The Arnold Clark showroom closed in March 2020

It would see the demolition of the existing buildings to make way for a supermarket, car park, access road and landscaping.

The new supermarket would have 20 full-time and 20 part-time members of staff.

It would open seven days a week, but not 24 hours, likely operating from 8am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

Aldi plans to invest more than £5m in the development and would aim to complete the store within 18 months of obtaining planning permission.

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The existing buildings would be demolished to make way for a new supermarketThe existing buildings would be demolished to make way for a new supermarket
The existing buildings would be demolished to make way for a new supermarket

It is thought the current Aldi store in Ashton would shut if this scheme gets the green light.

Ashton councillor Danny Fletcher said: “I fully support Aldi’s planning application to make use of the former Arnold Clark site in Bryn ward. The site itself has been a derelict eyesore for way too long, which is becoming worse as the months go by.

"In January 2022, Aldi committed with me to fund improvements to a children’s park in Bryn ward, which I expect Bryn councillors to take forward should planning permission be granted.

"In a local poll of 1,290 Ashton and Bryn locals, 81 per cent approve of Aldi’s application, with 19 per cent not approving.

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"The expectation is Aldi will be relocating their current Ashton town centre store to the former Arnold Clark site. The Ashton store has already received interest from business, so I expect it will not remain empty for long should Aldi relocate.

"I encourage as many businesses as possible to take a chance on Ashton, while respecting our greenbelt and green space.”

The council’s planning department will accept comments on the application until July 28, with a decision expected by the end of September.

The proposal comes just two months after plans for a new Lidl supermarket in Ashton were approved.