Aldi and Wickes lined up for Chichester

Barnfield Drive. Picture published with permission of the Brookhouse Group

Barnfield Drive. Picture published with permission of the Brookhouse Group

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THE EASTERN side of Chichester continues expanding, with an out-of-town retail area set to grow even more.

Aldi and Wickes look like being the new stores on the block for the first phase of the Barnfield Drive development.

The retail space will have a green park area running through the middle of it. ENGSNL00120111122162610

The retail space will have a green park area running through the middle of it. ENGSNL00120111122162610

While developer the Brookhouse Group has been able to confirm Wickes is intending to move in, the other retailer is yet to be officially confirmed, due to contract conditions, but is widely tipped to be Aldi.

The pictured site plan is available to view online here.

Halfords is also due to lease an area of the site, which is likely to see it moving from its current base near the Bognor roundabout.

There are still various items to be tied up, but group town planning manager at the Brookhouse Group Tom Whitehead said: “All we can say at this stage is that we will be starting next month.”

Rush hour in Westhampnett Road

Rush hour in Westhampnett Road

He said it was too soon to be able to confirm exactly when the work would be completed and the stores would be open to the public.

The news that Aldi was interested in Chichester has been well-documented, with earlier reports suggesting the supermarket chain was interested in the planned discount food supermarket near the Bognor roundabout, on the old ministry of defence fuel depot site.

That site is currently seeking planning application, but with permission long-since granted for the phase one of Barnfield, this new supermarket should see them coming to the city much sooner than expected.

Speaking to the Observer in January, an Aldi spokesman said: “Aldi is considering numerous locations across the south east.

“Chichester is one such location, and we are actively seeking a site in the hope of bringing an Aldi store to the area and creating jobs for the surrounding communities.”

Aldi has not yet responded to the Observer on the latest news.

There has also been talk in the past couple of years of Homebase moving as part of the large-scale development of Barnfield Drive.

The building the DIY chain occupies is also owned by Brookhouse, with talk of this building being turned into the food supermarket and Homebase occupying one of the other soon-to-be-built retail units.

However, this seems to have been dropped with an online document showing an overhead of the site clearly marking Homebase still situated in its current place.

Earlier this year, Homebase submitted a planning application to Chichester District Council, seeking planning permission to ugrade its sign to signify that it now houses a new Habitat and Argos.

This was granted planning permission in May.

The Barnfield Drive site has previously sparked concern from groups, such as the Chichester Business Improvement District, about the potential impact a proliferation of out-of-town shops could have on the long-term future of the city centre.

However the developer said this new site would complement the city centre and in fact bring more people to the area for shopping.

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