MORE THAN 200 people flocked to view plans for a new Aldi supermarket in Stafford – but concerns remain that it could make existing traffic problems worse.
The public exhibition was held at Wildwood Community Centre on Friday and attracted more than 200 visitors in the first two hours.
The new store, earmarked for the current Freedom Caravans and Gulf petrol station site on the A34 at Queensville, would create up to 35 new jobs, Aldi has said.
The “modestly scaled” store would have a 1,140 sq m sales area and be accompanied by a car park.
“The introduction of a new Aldi will bridge the gap in the market for a local deep discount retail offer and help to reduce travel distances fro shoppers who currently choose deep discount facilities further afield. It will complement existing food retailers in the area,” visitors were told on Friday.
“Aldi believe the site is a convenient location for the introduction of a new neighbourhood food store, benefiting from good transport links and being within walking distance for many of the nearby residential areas.”
Aldi property director Ciaran Aldridge said the company aimed to submit a planning application to Stafford Borough Council within the next two months, taking into account feedback received from visitors to Friday’s exhibition.
“We don’t have a store in Stafford at the moment so people are going out of town to shop at Aldi. Having a local store will reduce travel times and people have been supportive about us coming into the town,” he said.
“The only concern people have been raising is the current levels of traffic. But we are not proposing to add to it and we are going to consult with the highways authority.”
Last month local borough councillor Tom Harris said the proposals would exacerbate a major traffic problem that was already causing havoc for residents of the area.
He said the road was “probably the most congested in the town already” and residents living on the nearby Meadows estate had been suffering difficulties getting off the estate for years.
At Friday’s event Christine Price of Silkmore Lane said: “We are concerned about the traffic as the site is really close to the junction with Windsor Road and the (Queensville) roundabout.”
John Ward of Baswich said: “I have no objections to an Aldi but it’s position on the main road is the worst thing possible. It’s the most heavily congested road in to Stafford.”