The plans involve the demolition of the derelict former Kwik-Save building and car showroom and the building of an Aldi store facing the police station with two storeys of hotel on top and a car park on the town side of the development. A previous application which didn't include the hotel element was rejected last year (previous posts here and here).
This is a key site on the eastern approach to Aberystwyth. In a presentation to the Town Council last year Aldi themselves acknowledged that their presence wouldn't add to the retail provision in Aberystwyth but would just challenge existing supermarkets. The planning report describes them as catering for the 'deep discount market’. There’s certainly a demand for that from the many low-waged in the area, and one member of the committee spoke strongly in favour of the application on that basis. However many people feel it’s a demand well catered for in the town already. And the decision won't please those hoping to raise the standard of Aberystwyth or those opposed in principle to more supermarkets.
On the positive side, the site has been an eyesore for some years now and it could be said that almost anything would be an improvement visually. The regret is that Aberystwyth is still not capable of attracting anything better.
The meeting gave planning officers the go-ahead to approve the scheme once conditions, such as creating a pedestrian refuge in Park Avenue, are agreed.