Opinion is divided over retail plans for former garage site

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

Plans to transform a derelict site into retail development, including an award-winning global supermarket chain, have split the opinion of our readers.

On Thursday, we launched a poll on the Gazette website to gauge feelings towards Northumberland Estates’ proposals for an Aldi store and Majestic Wine outlet on land at South Road, Alnwick.

It followed the town’s chamber of trade chairman Carlo Biagioni revealing last week that the majority of his committee had concerns about the scheme, earmarked for the former Willis of Alnwick plot.

And 50 per cent of those who voted in our poll share this view. Twenty five per cent of these people said it is an out-of-town development and would harm the town centre. The remaining objectors said they would rather see it be used for residential purposes.

One reader, who goes by the username of Christina1, wrote on our site: “Putting an Aldi in Alnwick is a crazy idea because we have a Lidl, which, when you compare them, they sell practically the same kind of goods. Also, all the supermarkets sell wine.”

“It needs to be residential.”

However, 50 per cent of voters are in favour of the development, which would create more than 30 jobs.

The majority of supporters said it would expand the retail offer in the town, while 16 per cent backed the employment opportunities.

Anonalnwick wrote: “These proposed stores pose no competition against what is catered for in the town centre. Can’t wait for them to open.

“Does Alnwick need more housing given that there is already problems with accessing doctors, dentists and the petrol station?”