Developer lodges Aldi bid appeal

editorial image

An appeal has been submitted against a decision to turn down planning permission for a “£5million” Aldi supermarket in Hawick.

The developer, Wilton Mills Ltd (WML), says the proposal will create 35 jobs at the 18,500 sq ft store in Commercial Road, and has lodged its appeal to the refusal by Scottish Borders Council over its plans.

Permission was refused by SBC in December on the grounds that there was “no spare retail capacity for a class one foodstore in Hawick” . . . and concerns
over the planned store’s “detrimental impact on the viability of an already vulnerable town centre”.

But WML has now appealed to the local authority’s planning review body – which is chaired by Hawick councillor, Ron Smith – and it will determine the request on April 18.

WML’s appeal document states that the new Aldi supermarket would represent a “£5million capital investment into a long-term derelict brownfield site, which has been a regeneration priority for many years”.

A WML spokesperson added: “We are content with the robustness of the planning appeal document in relation to both local and national guidelines.

“In addition the specific need for employment and investment in Hawick and the use of a derelict site provide compelling reasons for the local review board to grant approval.

“We are grateful to the people of Hawick and local councillors for the overwhelming support and are hopeful that common sense will prevail.”

Townsfolk and businesses have voiced opposition to Aldi, including eight written objections as well as two petitions comprising 328 names. Four letters of support have also been received.