Bid for new Aldi store sparks road fears
CONCERNS are being raised after a formal application was made for a new Aldi store and 70 new homes on the former Westlea campus.
If approved the new store would be the fourth from the German retailers in Swindon.
The store has been well received by residents but there have been calls for roads plans to be ironed out further.
Martyn Parrott, 71, of Eastleaze said: “I have no objection whatsoever to the plans.
“My only complaint about all the plans is the fact they are going to put another entrance in off Shaw Road, which is simply not needed.
“The one there already has been there for 50 years, and serves its purpose.
“There is also a pedestrian crossing which is just up the road looking onto the other side of the Bramptons.
“That has been there since the school was built at Shaw Ridge, and was put there because on the other side is an estate of houses and the children can cross safely across Shaw Road.
“They are proposing in their traffic action plan that they are going to move the pedestrian crossing to the entrance of the road they are about to build for their property.”
Kevin Fisher, the chairman of Shaw Residents’ Association, said: “We have no objection to the proposed development but would ask that further consideration is given to the road infrastructure.
“In particular, we would urge evaluation of the use of a route into the store via Chelmsford Road, through the housing, or an option to redevelop and widen Shaw Road to allow for safe vehicle access and exit.”
Ben Shotter, the property director for Aldi, said the company was willing to respond to the concerns of residents, and have already increased the parking allocation to ease congestion.
“One thing about this location is it links very well with residential populations, so we would hope for more walk-in customers,” he said.
“Based on the feedback we have had over parking needs we have aligned our plan to get seven or eight more spaces in. On average we provide 80 parking spaces for each store, but for this location we added 20 per cent and then went up again.”
An application has also been submitted for the demolition of the old Westlea campus with a view to work starting as soon as permission is granted.
“We are also going to be putting £30,000 towards West Swindon traffic improvement measures, which is on top of other section 106 money, including a substantial amount for the new housing,” said Ben.
“I think the comments about traffic and parking are fair and we need to respond to them.”
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