The discount is set to move to a section of the former John Lewis branch of the supermarket company Aldi Tomworth, where plans to split the store into two sections were approved by councilors.
Part of its reuse will be facilitated by the new Costa coffee shop facility on the Ventura Park site.
The closing of the John Lewis store in Tomworth was announced last year, with several branches across the country.
Members of the Tomworth Borough Council’s project committee welcomed the site’s reuse on Tuesday (March 30) when projects were completed.
Speaking in support of the application on behalf of the retail park owners, Sean McGrath said work has been underway to protect new tenants since the former John Lewis store was announced to be closing.
He added: “Unfortunately no one wants to take the whole unit – it’s a huge unit – but the Aldi doesn’t want to take half the unit. We are a long way from getting another operator to take over the other half of the unit.
“This application not only ensures that the former John Lewis division is quickly brought back into useful use, but also shows that Tomworth is still open to business and investment, but that it will create about 140 jobs for locals.
“The corona virus has had a profound impact on our lives and is constantly changing the way we live, work and shop. The last 12 months have been very challenging for retailers and many popular brands have gone wall to wall.
“John Lewis’ impact is well documented and for this reason, to reflect changing habits, John Lewis will not open many of its stores after being locked up.
“I think this is a testament to Tomworth’s retail location that there are still operators interested in investing in the city, despite the economic challenges everyone faces.”
Councilors voted unanimously in favor of the plans at Tuesday’s meeting.
Councilor Patrick Stanton said: “I have to take into account the impact on the city center. However, I do not think they are really relevant in this situation.
“There are two major food retailers – namely Sainsbury’s and Asta – within short distances.
“Following the loss of the city of John Lewis, would it be better to bring this place into use, to provide employment for the people of Tomworth, to pay business rates, and to meet the needs of our city?”
Councilor Richard Kingstone said: “I think this is a wonderful development and a wonderful opportunity to be an unused and huge site in the middle of Ventura Park. We should celebrate businesses that are eager to take this at this particular time.”
Councilor John Chesworth said: “This is an already established retail park. I think it would be wise to have a retailer willing to invest in the site.
I’ve heard a lot of comments like “not another Costa, not another Aldi” but they want to go there because they are successful in that city and they want to build it. It will provide jobs, and it will also provide sales outlets that people want to use. ”
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