Major retail and pub plans for town set for approval

Artists impression'Aldi, Alnwick
Artists impression'Aldi, Alnwick

Two major planning applications for a north Northumberland town are set to be given the go-ahead tonight after being recommended for approval by officers.

The long-awaited scheme to transform Alnwick’s derelict Corn Exchange into a JD Wetherspoon pub will go in front of the north area planning committee.

The Corn Exchange, Alnwick

The Corn Exchange, Alnwick

Members will also decide on Northumberland Estates’ bid to turn the former Willis of Alnwick site into a retail development. An Aldi food store and Majestic Wine outlet are proposed for the vacant South Road plot.

The schemes have divided opinion in the town and letters of objection have been received for both.

Wetherspoon’s £1.3million plan, which would create around 40 jobs, proposes a bar and customer area downstairs, toilets on a mezzanine first floor and a beer garden.

The pub giant intends to open Monday to Friday and Sunday, 7am to 12.30am, and Saturday, 7am to 1.30am.

Five letters of objection from neighbours have been received, with concerns including noise and smell, safety of the steps leading from the building to the town centre and the impact on other pubs.

But planning officers have suggested the scheme be approved, subject to conditions, including that no drinks can be taken into the beer garden, smoking shelter or smoking area between 10pm and 8am, to avoid disturbance.

They state that the development would bring a Grade II-listed building back into use and would not harm the town centre. They add that the impact on residents can be mitigated by planning conditions .

Planning officers have also backed the Estates’ plan for South Road, which would create around 30 jobs.

They say that it would deliver a sustainable form of development on the basis of economic, social and environmental factors, such as job creation, regeneration of a vacant site and enhancing the town’s retail choice.

But the scheme has attracted three letters of objection from local residents, which raise concerns over additional traffic, and two more citing a lack of need for another discount food store.

Morrisons, Alnwick’s chamber of trade and the town’s civic society also have concerns.

Tonight’s meeting, at Alnwick’s council chamber, on Clayport Street, starts at 6pm.

○ Visit our website, www.north, tomorrow for the decision.

Gazette readers have given their thoughts on the plans, via Facebook and Twitter.

Aldi/ majestic

Curtis Mann

Why in the hell does Alnwick need an Aldi (when it has lidl) basically the same shop! And a wine store? There is nothing for young people to do so lets build two shops that we don’t need. Just to waste money! The only good thing this will bring is jobs, since the North East is rated highest for young unemployment that is the only benifit of these stores! A bowling alley, aHMV store, anything but Aldi and a wine store!

Clare Frater

Does Alnwick need an Aldi when there’s a Lidl store so close? And a Majestic wine house? When there is countless pubs, hotels, supermarkets and off-licenses! How about a decent clothes shop for all ages, so people are encouraged into Alnwick and not forced to shop elsewhere. I wont be using Aldi or Majestic Wine I’m afraid

An Van Dyck

Yes. Aldi is the original and best discount store. Often good quality products too. They support local suppliers/local specialities. I also agree there should be more fun things to do for young people in the town.

Aura Fulton

Anyone who does their shopping at Aldi has to travel to Ashington, it will be good to have it on our doorstep although I do agree that 4 supermarkets in Alnwick is a lot.Brilliant for the jobs it will create though.As for majestic wines I’m not sure there’s a market for them in the town?


All for development of the site but is there really a need for a Lidl AND an Aldi within a few hundred yds of each other?


@alifuller10 totally agree. Something for the youth. Bowling alley. Cinema. Safe place for them to go. Vote for kids


Jayne Grey

I vote yes. It will help the other pubs!! the more people that come to the town the better, it is probable that they won’t stay in one pub and will visit others especially if Wetherspoons stay open later for the young and young at heart. Yes yes yes to all new businesses.