The future of a plan to build a new Aldi supermarket on university land in Lampeter which was recommended for refusal despite having the backing hundreds of supporters will now be decided at a later date.

At the 10 July meeting of Ceredigion County Council’s development management committee, members were recommended to refuse plans by Aldi for a foodstore at Trinity St Davids Playing Fields Pontfaen Road, along with the refurbishment of a Grade II-listed sports pavilion, the installation of three pre-fabricated wooden ‘food village’ exhibition pods, and a nature and biodiversity area with associated access, car parking and landscaping.

Announced as a plan as far back as 2020, the University of Wales Trinity St David and Aldi said the scheme would also create a cluster of food cabins which would “promote local produce and encourage the creation of microbusinesses.”

The proposed food village comprises of three pre-fabricated wooden exhibition pods, an Aldi superstore and redeveloping the listed Pavilion on the grounds as part of the university’s wider Canolfan Tir Glas initiative.

The scheme, according to pre-planning consultation documents, would create up to 40 jobs in the Lampeter area.

But planning officers recommended the plans for refusal over the impact on Lampeter town centre businesses along with the affect on other nearby towns including Aberaeron and Llandysul.

The application saw representations from agents for both the university and Aldi; the former saying it was a “transformational” opportunity, which would provide “a complimentary offering” rather than detracting from the town centre.

Aldi agent Rob Jones said the plans were a “once in a generation opportunity for Lampeter,” adding there had been hundreds of voices of support, together with a 700-plus petition in support of the scheme.

They were backed by local member Cllr Ann Bowen Morgan, who said both the town council and the chamber of commerce had backed the plans, adding Lampeter was “noted as a deprived area” and would “welcome affordable food on its doorstep.”

At the meeting, Cllr Maldwyn Lewis told members he “would be willing to go against officer recommendation” for “an asset for the town of Lampeter”.

After initially moving the application be approved, Cllr Lewis supported a ‘cooling off’ suggestion as members were minded to go against officer recommendation, the ‘cooling off’ overwhelmingly supported by fellow members

The application was deferred to the council’s ‘cooling off’ panel, returning to a future planning committee for final decision.