Discount supermarket chain Aldi has confirmed plans for a new Birmingham store and released an artist’s impression of what the shop will look like.
The German retailer has finally officially confirmed it intends to build a brand new store on the Brassington Avenue site in the centre of Sutton Coldfield.
If given the green light the scheme would bring to life a patch of land that has remained dormant for more than four decades.
The new store, which will cost more than £5 million, will double the sales area of the existing Aldi shop in the Parade to 1,315 square metres. That shop will then close, believed to be in August 2023 when the lease expires.
It will include 1,800 lines, the same as the present shop, but in a more spacious environment.
The store will also have 119 parking spaces, with six accessible spaces, six parent and child spaces, four electric charging bays, which can be increased to up to 20. Free parking for 90 minutes will be allowed.
The new site will also create more jobs increasing from the present store’s 25 to nearly double at 45. And it will create more jobs throughout the construction and onwards with the ‘supply chain.
Deliveries will take place from an access point on Manor Road and the company is looking at how customers will get in and out with the present thinking believed to be an entrance/exit just prior to the ramp which leads out of the Gracechurch Centre’s car park.
The site will also have ‘attractive landscaping’ to ‘enhance its appearance’. Aldi said the new shop will become an ‘anchor store for Sutton Coldfield’. The town having lost its large M&S shop and before that BHS.
A presentation was given to councillors earlier this week.
Sutton Trinity town and city councillor, David Pears, said: “Aldi, who have bought the Brassington [Avenue] site in Sutton are going out to public consultation next week. And they are going to put their planning application in in the near future.
“The Brassington Avenue site will be 100 per cent bigger in terms of floorspace than their current shop in the Parade.
“I welcome the news of the development of the site. I am encouraged by it as we have been waiting for something to happen there.
“After years of waiting at last it looks like we are going to have something happening on that disused monstrosity of a site.
“I have told the developers I think it’s right they are going out to consultation and the initial news looks quite positive.”
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Cllr Pears had some concern regarding how people will get in and out of the site, with the proposed entrance and exit on a bend and near the current shopping centre exit.
He said: “The entrance access at the moment is just before the outflow from the Gracechurch.
“It looks quite small. What are the policies to make it safe. There could be issues with queues of car.
“Aldi said it would be looking at feedback from planning and highways [at the city council] and from the public. The initial plan felt positive.”
The German firm for the first time has confirmed it is looking to build a new store on the Brassington Avenue site, having refused to be drawn on plans indirectly revealed in March.
The proposal had been detailed in a Royal Sutton Coldfield Regeneration Partnership masterplan document titled ‘Project Interdependency’ by Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, which was released ahead of a meeting of the partnership on Thursday, March 25.
But now Aldi has said it is preparing a ‘high-quality food store’ to replace the existing town centre shop in Sutton Coldfield.
It said: “The proposals will see a long-term vacant brownfield site on Brassington Avenue, Sutton Coldfield transformed into an attractive, modern Aldi food store.
“The new store would replace Aldi’s existing store in the town offering customers a larger sales area and improved parking.
“As part of its commitment to community consultation, Aldi has written to over 2,000 local properties inviting them to attend its virtual public exhibition.
“That will run from Monday, May 24 to Monday, May 31, with a live chat feature hosted between 1pm and 5pm on Thursday, May 27.
“People will be able to view the plans and provide their feedback via an online questionnaire.
The chain said the store would include a ‘multi-million pound investment’ in the area, with Cllr Pears stating the firm is spending a ‘fortune’ on stabilising the railway embankment which skirts the opposite side of the site to Brassington Avenue.
A spokesman for Aldi said: “We are delighted to announce our plans to open a new Aldi food store in Sutton Coldfield.
“Our plans to develop vacant land on Brassington Avenue will offer customers an improved shopping experience and ensure we can continue to provide our award-winning products and fresh produce to the town.
“We want to hear from local people before we submit a planning application to Birmingham City Council, and I’d encourage residents to attend our virtual public exhibition and let us know their views on the proposals.”
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The virtual public exhibition will be available here but the site was not live at the time this article was published.
The firm said as well as attending the virtual exhibition by visiting the project website, people can also provide their feedback by contacting the project team on Freephone information line number 0800 298 7040 or emailing: email@example.com
It hoped the new store would also act as a catalyst for regeneration in the town.