Discount supermarket in sign row

RETAILING giant Aldi has today come under fire after leaving illuminated signs on its Stowmarket shop without permission for almost six years.The supermarket giant, which prides itself on offering quality goods at low prices, has now applied to Mid Suffolk District Council for retrospective planning permission to retain three advertisements.

RETAILING giant Aldi has today come under fire after leaving illuminated signs on its Stowmarket shop without permission for almost six years.

The supermarket giant, which prides itself on offering quality goods at low prices, has now applied to Mid Suffolk District Council for retrospective planning permission to retain three advertisements.

The company wants to keep a sign at the entrance to Gipping Way in Stowmarket where the store is situated, continue to have fascia advertising, and retain a pole sign at the front of the car park, although it would be reduced in size.

Anne Whybrow, town mayor and a county councillor, said: “It's just a shame that these large chains feel that they are able to defy planning laws and just put them up and then apply for retrospective planning permission. We are all trying to be eco-friendly and there is no need for lights to be illuminated 24 hours a day.”

Andrew Stringer, a Green mid Suffolk district councillor, said: “This is a very, very long saga and was first raised at a full council meeting during 2003. The signs were put up that year without planning permission, it's just shocking.

“This is a sensitive area, the edge of a conservation area, and there are lots of neighbours nearby. We need to look at this carefully.”

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Roland Stanley, a property director with Aldi, said: “We have taken into consideration local concerns regarding the signage at our Stowmarket store and are working closely with the local authority and have recently submitted a revised planning application.”

A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk District Council said that they are currently consulting on the planning application and hope to reach a decision during the first week of February.

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