Five sites Aldi could build supermarket in Suffolk town
- Credit: RICHARD CORNWELL
Supermarket chain Aldi has announced twice in the past year that it is targeting Felixstowe as a place it wants to open a new store.
Aldi is the UK’s fifth largest supermarket chain and has been on an expansion drive in recent years, opening around one new store a week on average to meet demand from new customers.
It has more than 900 stores across the UK, and is looking for freehold town-centre or edge-of-centre site in Felixstowe suitable for development.
It says each site should be around 1.5 acres and able to accommodate a 20,000 sq ft store with around 100 parking spaces, ideally on a prominent main road and with good visibility and access.
Felixstowe is in desperate need of a new supermarket - with a growing population and the recent go-ahead for a major store failing to materialise.
Ciaran Aldridge, national property director at Aldi UK, said: “We have been investing in Britain for more than 30 years now, but we know that there are still areas that either do not have an Aldi at all, or that need another store to meet customer demand.
“Shoppers are increasingly looking to get unbeatable prices on their weekly shop without compromising on quality. That’s why, more so than ever, we’re keen to explore all opportunities to open new stores across the country.”
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So where could Aldi open a supermarket in Felixstowe?
1 Dock Gate One
The site of the old 32-bedroom Routemaster Motel has stood vacant for six years since the building - a feature of the resort since the 1960s - was demolished.
It has left a 4.3-acre site at the start of the A14 and next to the Dock Gate One roundabout. Current suggestions for the land include lorry parking.
With a large Lidl and a drive-thru McDonald's opposite, it would be an ideal location for a new Aldi supermarket.
2 Old Railway Sidings
Permission has already been granted for a 30,000 sq ft supermarket on a brownfield site, old railway sidings and nursery land, off Railway Approach.
Albourne Property plc's plans - which include a transport interchange, and a 300-space car park - won consent but agreement could not be reached with a landowner to create access to the site and the store has never been built. Perhaps Aldi would have more success.
3 North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood
East Suffolk Council plans to create a 2,000-home suburb on the edge of the resort - and its masterplan could include land for shopping facilities.
With around 3,400 new homes being built in the town and the adjoining Trimleys, there will certainly be need for an allocation to address the town's supermarket shortage and prevent more out of town shopping.
4 Take over an existing empty site
The Marks and Spencer store in Felixstowe town centre has been standing empty for nearly two years and is crying out for a new retailer to move in. In may not have the parking Aldi would require, but there is a large public car park at the rear of the store - which has shoppers' access - in Highfield Road.
5 Brackenbury Sports Centre site
The Brackenbury Sports Centre in High Road East, Old Felixstowe, is set to be closed and demolished in the next few years. The building is nearing the end of the its operational life and new facilities are to be built as part of the Garden Neighbourhood.
The sports centre's 4.5-acre site is earmarked for 80 homes but a supermarket would be just as useful to the population with more than 300 homes being added to the existing housing numbers in Ferry Lane, Old Felixstowe, and the site is also less than a mile from the town centre.