Aldi seeks to allay traffic fears over Keynsham store plan

ALDI has submitted plans to build a store on a site between the A4 Bath Road and World’s End Lane in Keynsham.

The discount retailer has earmarked the former Brincliffe Nursery for the scheme, to the west of the Esso garage. When Aldi initially revealed its proposals last December, some people expressed concern on social media about extra traffic being generated on the A4, where recent developments in the area had created new housing, a large new recycling centre and a new nursing home.

But Aldi says it has revised its proposals so that the main access to and from the site will be via World’s End Lane, which was upgraded as part of Keynsham Recycling Centre’s expansion.

Entry from the Bath Road would be by left turn only, with no exit allowed onto the busy main road.

Aldi says a failed application for commercial development to the east of the site is of particular relevance to its plans.

B&NES Council refused that application for two reasons, firstly because it was not accompanied by a masterplan and secondly because the main access was proposed from the Bath Road rather than World’s End Lane, contrary to Local Plan policy.

The Planning Inspectorate subsequently dismissed an appeal and supported these reasons for refusal.

Aldi said: “It is important to note that the inspector did not object to a proposed access to Bath Road, only to the fact that access was not also provided via World’s End Lane.”

The store said it therefore does not view a proposal with accesses onto both roads as contrary to policy. It adds that its store plans are supported by a masterplan for the site and the wider area.

As part of Aldi’s public consultation, a newsletter about the proposals was delivered to more than 3,000 local residents and businesses last December.

A virtual exhibition website was viewed by 1,500 individuals, and a public in-person exhibition event was held at the Keynsham Masonic Hall.

A total of 310 online feedback forms and five posted feedback were received.

Aldi said that 63.6% (197) of responses were supportive in principle of the proposals for the new store, while 29.5% (91) objected. A further 6.8% (21) were not sure.

The company said that concerns expressed were mainly about highways and access issues, with the public consultation version of the scheme showing access to and from the A4.

“Following the public consultation, and in response to feedback from the local community, ward member and planners, the project team have revised the access arrangements so that cars cannot exit the site onto the A4.”

The proposals also include parking for 120 cars, including nine parent-and-child spaces and six disabled spaces. There would also be 10 cycle spaces.

Other Aldi stores are open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 6pm on Sundays.

A statement submitted along with the planning application to Bath and North East Somerset Council says: “As Aldi stores are located in residential areas, Aldi is committed to being a responsible neighbour and seeks to ensure the amenity of residents is maintained.”

The company says its new stores usually employ between 40 and 50 staff.

The planning reference is 24/02029/FUL. The deadline for comments is July 18, with a council decision on the plans targeted for September.

Pictured, an image of how the store would look, the proposed access from the A4 Bath Road and (below) the proposed access from World’s End Lane