Plans for new Longwater Aldi met with ‘gridlock’ and ‘standstill’ warnings
- Credit: PA
Plans for a new branch of Aldi to open in a retail park on the outskirts of Norwich have been met with warnings of traffic “gridlock” from local councillors.
The German supermarket chain could be set to build a new store at the Longwater Business Park, in Costessey, near Norwich.
The discount retailer is yet to submit a planning application but has begun consulting residents in the nearby area on their views.
But the suggestion has met with a mixed reaction from councillors, who have warned of worsening travel chaos on routes in and out of Queens Hills and Longwater.
Margaret Dewsbury, South Norfolk district councillor for Easton, said: “It’s good to have a range of shops for people to use but we do have real traffic problems in that area and it would attract even more people.”
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The Conservative member added: “It’s a good thing but we really have to think about routes.
“We’ve got the A47 trying to be dualled but that could be a couple of years away and it could be at a standstill at times.”
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While Liberal Democrat Libby Glover said most residents seemed to be “happy with the Aldi idea”.
But Ms Glover, who represents Old Costessey on South Norfolk Council added: “Most people have said why Aldi - why not Iceland?
“The general opposition is about the traffic. Things keep on getting built, units are going up there and the traffic situation is incredibly difficult.
“Further back along that road there’s an ambulance station and there’s been absolute gridlock.
“The road has been blocked for hours - people can’t get in or out to pick children up from school.
“The road system is wrong - it needs another exit.”
In a statement on its website, an Aldi spokesman said: “The award-winning discount food retailer is proposing to develop a new food store at Longwater Business Park.
“The proposals would see land to the north of the Hammond Car dealership on William Frost Way developed into a new Aldi store.
“The plans would introduce a brand-new discount store to Longwater, reducing the need for customers to travel to other Aldi stores for their grocery shopping.
“The proposals are at an early stage and no planning application has yet been submitted to South Norfolk District Council.
“Aldi would like to hear your views regarding their ambitions for a new store in Longwater, which could be open as early as 2022.”