'No' to Aldi plan

PUBLISHED: 12:55 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:43 20 April 2010

A BID by Aldi Stores Limited to develop a supermarket at Turks Head in Honiton has been given the thumbs down by town councillors. They have recommended the scheme be refused by East Devon District Council. Although not against the principle of an Aldi st

A BID by Aldi Stores Limited to develop a supermarket at Turks Head in Honiton has been given the thumbs down by town councillors. They have recommended the scheme be refused by East Devon District Council. Although not against the principle of an Aldi store being developed on a site currently occupied by Slades Countrywise, Honiton Town Council's planning committee acknowledged last week that traffic problems at the Turks Head junction with Exeter Road are so severe that no development should be permitted until acceptable improvements are implemented. Aldi has indicated a willingness to discuss traffic congestion with the Highways Authority. Three members of the public were present to witness the committee reach its decision. As well as recommending refusal, councillors came up with a list of comments for planners at Knowle. They said an acceptable solution to traffic problems at the site, including pedestrian safety, must be found. When discussing Aldi's application, district councillors are urged to consider recycling facilities, more cycle stands and measures to combat air pollution, an identified hazard at Turks Head. Town councillors believe a bus stop and shelter are needed in a position to the east of the proposed development site, and agreed to draw planners' attention to inaccuracies in a transport assessment presented by Aldi in documentation supporting its application. They fear Honiton Motel, Honiton Garage and a picnic site could suffer from inappropriate parking, if the plan is given the go-ahead. Aldi is proposing a car park with 74 spaces and councillors acknowledged that at times like Christmas it could be full, prompting shoppers to park elsewhere nearby. If Tesco is given permission to relocate to Ottery Moor Lane, its garage will close - meaning more petrol sales and increased traffic at Honiton Garage. DESIGN 'CHRONIC' THE design of the proposed Aldi store is "absolutely chronic", a town councillor has claimed. Alfred Boom said: "It is very dull, very nothing." Speaking at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday last week, Councillor Boom said he was very much in favour of Aldi opening a store in Honiton. However, he was disappointed with the look of the proposed supermarket. "It's a big site, with all sorts of possibilities," he said. "Aldi has the opportunity to provide a first rate, modern building." Councillor Sally Casson wasn't too struck on the design either. "It looks like a box," she said. Councillor Martyn McGuire said: "Aldi has got a very strong belief that its corporate image is important. It says Aldi is a professional outfit." ROAD A DANGER TO PEDESTRIANS WOULD you cross Exeter Road, near its junction with Turks Head, while pushing a pram? Councillor Sharon Holloway wouldn't. She is a mum herself and told councillors last week: "I'm concerned about traffic and pushchairs. There's no way I'd cross that road with a pram.

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