AN Aberystwyth councillor has lambasted the Welsh Government’s decision to refuse planning permission for a new supermarket in the town, with the county’s MS saying she is ‘baffled’ by the decision.
The Welsh Government last week blocked plans for a new Aldi supermarket on the former Kwik Save and Cambrian Garages site along Park Avenue, saying the site was a potential flood risk.
Reacting to the decision, Ceredigion MS, Elin Jones, said: “I am baffled by the Welsh Government’s decision on the Aldi store.
“There is a desire to see Aldi invest in Aberystwyth and Ceredigion County Council approved the plans.
“This is a blow to providing consumer choice in supermarket shopping in north Ceredigion. This is a brownfield site, in a prominent location on Park Avenue that is in dire need of development.
“I’ll be working with Aldi to see what may be retrieved of their plans given that they already had a previous planning approval on the site.”
Aberystwyth Town Councillor Mair Benjamin has also lambasted the decision.
Cllr Benjamin said: “This issue has been unresolved for at least 11 years and prevarication and delay means that we have nothing on this important site, on the main approach road into Aberystwyth.
“This site is an eyesore and disgrace with KwikFit wedged between two prime development sites. What a welcoming impression we are giving our visitors.
“Local residents have been contacting me, asking why the inaction continues, when to my knowledge, over the years, 28 applications have been approved in this area, commercial and residential, despite understandable concerns about flooding.
“Included in those 28 applications are the police station, Welsh Government building and Ceredigion Council’s Canolfan Rheidol.
“I believe Aldi have over the years been very responsive to the demands of the planning authorities, and have to my knowledge presented to us at least twice to Town Council.
“Above all else, local residents have contacted me demanding what is going on? Concerns which I echo”
The decision to reject planning permission for an Aldi store along Park Avenue raises questions over future developments in the area.
The former Arriva depot has long been earmarked by Ceredigion County Council as a site for future development.
Aberystwyth county councillor Ceredig Davies said the decision to reject the Aldi plans ‘could/will have serious implications as to the potential development of Lower Park Avenue.’
A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said: “As we develop the plans for the former Arriva site, the issues raised in the decision report will be considered.”
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