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Discount food store planned for Dereham

PUBLISHED: 06:00 25 September 2014

Plan of proposed Aldi in Dereham on former Cemex site

Plan of proposed Aldi in Dereham on former Cemex site

Archant

Dereham shoppers could get a new discount food store on the outskirts of the town, instead of a hotel, if planners approve a new scheme.

The former Cemex site in Dereham before demolition work started. Picture: Ian Burt The former Cemex site in Dereham before demolition work started. Picture: Ian Burt

Businessman Andrew Scales has submitted a new application for a 1500-square-metre Aldi supermarket as part of the redevelopment of the Cemex site on Yaxham Road, providing up to 40 jobs.

This would replace the 51-bedroom hotel that was granted planning permission last year, although the McDonald’s restaurant and Marston’s pub are still set to go ahead.

Dereham mayor Tim Birt said the Aldi plan would probably be looked on favourably by the town council as it offered jobs which were crucial to Dereham.

But he added he would look very carefully at any traffic implications.

A design and access statement submitted with the plans by consulting engineers Plandescil states that the development proposes “a single storey Aldi food store unit with car parking, servicing and landscaping to support the local residential community, integrate with the existing shopping facilities nearby the site and also provide employment use to serve the area”.

The scheme is described as a “modest scale supermarket” with a limited product range of between 850 and 1000 lines and would provide 75 customer and staff parking spaces.

When the original application to redevelop the former factory site was submitted in February last year Mr Scales, who runs Dereham-based steel fabrication company SCWS, said there were two national chains in negotiation to occupy the proposed hotel, but since permission was granted none had come forward to take up the option.

Work has been progressing to clear the area and lay pipework and install essential services on the eight-acre site.

McDonald’s has so far been unable to confirm a start date for the construction of the restaurant which will include a drive-through service.

Marston’s, however, is advertising for a general manager for the new pub which it says will open in March 2015. It says it will offer a seven day a week carvery along with an extensive pub restaurant menu serving more than 2,000 covers per week.

In the original application it also stated that Marston’s would employ 25 full-time and 35 part-time workers, McDonald’s would have 45 full-timers and 20 part-timers while the hotel would have 23 full-time and four part time staff so the Aldi will offer a few extra job opportunities than the hotel would have done.

Dereham mayor Tim Birt said that jobs were “crucial” to the town and if the Aldi were able to offer more jobs then it would probably be looked on favourably by the town council.

But he added he would look very carefully at any traffic implications.

“I think a hotel would have less traffic movements around it and there are already junctions around there that are technically saturated,” he said. “I will be interested to see any traffic assessment that has been produced and see if any improvements are necessary.”

Would you like to see an Aldi instead of a hotel in Dereham? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk

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