Aldi won consent today to build a new store – and create up to 50 jobs -in March.
The store will be built a 1-3 Hostmoor and 1 Martin Avenue, March, and approval was given by the planning committee of Fenland District Council.
The store will comprise 1,804sqm of gross internal floorspace, with a net sales area of 1,315sqm and associated car park.
The development will require the demolition of the existing buildings on the site and a new access arrangement off Hostmoor Avenue, restricted to a left turn only exit from the site (so traffic wishing to join the A141 will U-turn at the ‘Tesco roundabout’ on Hostmoor Avenue).
Crossing points are being provided at the ‘Tesco roundabout’ (with refuges) and also at the store access on Hostmoor Avenue.
Planning officers told the committee: “A signal-controlled arrangement at the A141/ Hostmoor Avenue junction is proposed, to mitigate the impacts of the development on the highway network.
“This follows prior engagement with the local highways authority.
“This junction will provide for pedestrian crossing points.”
Officers said that subject to progress on the MATS (March Area Transport Study) A141 / Hostmoor junction scheme being prepared by the county council and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined it may be the case that a financial contribution (£250k) is made in lieu of the signalised scheme so that the former can be implemented (or a scheme similar to it).
“In terms of the economic and social objectives of sustainable development, the proposal would contribute towards economic growth, including job creation through creating 40 to 50 posts, without undue adverse impacts upon vitality of March Town Centre,” councillors agreed.
“The proposal would also assist in retaining convenience expenditure within March, assisting the local economy, whilst providing consumers with increased shopping choice.”
Councillors accepted the site had been for other commercial uses but the site itself “has been found less attractive for such uses given the changed character of the area and development of the site for the use proposed”.
Aldi would “bring forward economic, social and environmental benefits.”
Councillors felt the visual impacts of the development “are considered to be acceptable, and the proposal would make a positive contribution to character and appearance of the area.
“The residual cumulative impacts on the road network would not be severe, and the proposal would accommodate the use of sustainable transport modes.
“There are no other adverse environmental impacts arising which cannot be addressed, nor adverse impacts upon surrounding land uses and adequate drainage has been demonstrated”.
Councillors heard that the development provides the necessary car, cycle, and servicing space.
“Whilst the traffic impacts are not completely mitigated, the impact will not be severe, and it will be no worse than with the present junction arrangement (if the development and the Westry Retail Park and McDonalds schemes did not go ahead),” planning officers told the committee.
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