Shape of things to come for Aldi

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RETAIL giant Aldi have publicly advertised their proposals for a new store on Ellon’s Ythan Terrace.

The plans went on display at 2pm last Monday at the New Inn Hotel in Ellon. Organisers say that the consultation had received a good response from local residents, and that they were impressed with the number of people who turned out to see the plans.

The proposals include the demolition of the existing, former Haldanes’ building, and its replacement with a more contemporary design.

Speaking to the Times, Aldi’s property director Graham Nicolson said that the plans represented a new vision for the site, and that the response received had been broadly in the development’s favour.

“We’ve had a very good turnout,” he said. “We had far more people viewing the plans than we expected. It has been busy since the doors opened, and the feedback we’ve had has been very positive.

He added that the company would require new premises on the site, describing the present building as ‘compromised internally and externally.’

“The building as it stands doesn’t suit our business needs,” he said. “We think we have a stronger proposal starting from scratch. We will be taking down a big building, reducing the footprint of the site on the local environment.”

He added that the company was confident that the plans would be going ahead, and that while Aldi does not yet own the land in question, it has made a commitment to push ahead with the plans.

“We have a contract in place with the developer, who we have consulted with. The developer has, in turn, written to the planning authorities to confirm that this is the case and that we have made a commitment to the site.

“We aim to lodge a planning application with Formartine Area Committee in November and have works at the site begun by next year. We would then be aiming for a mid-2014 opening.”

One resident present at the consultation said that while the retail operations were to be welcomed, the design of the new shop was ‘generic’. Other residents told the Times that the proposals were welcome, and that a retail development of the site particularly was a positive development.

The Aldi plans include a new, 1,473 square metre shop with provision for 111 car parking spaces. The project is anticipated to create around twenty local jobs.

The site is also currently at the centre of other planning proposals, put forward by developer Carden Studios in Aberdeen, with a view towards constructing a mixed retail, health and residential development. The Carden Studios proposal - for planning in principle - was recommended by planners for a delegated grant, however councillors decided to defer the application on Tuesday pending further information on the project.

The site was previously subject to another proposal for a retail and housing development by owner Warsash Properties, however those plans were turned down.