‘Discount’ supermarket on its way to Chichester but is it an Aldi?

Artist's impression shows the proposed entrance off the A259
Artist's impression shows the proposed entrance off the A259

ALDI is set to come to town, but has refused to confirm if it is eyeing up a new supermarket planned for the outskirts of Chichester.

Plans for a ‘discount food retail unit’ have been publicised that would be built off the Bognor roundabout.

The disused fuel depot site has been earmarked for a new supermarket, along with three restaurants, businesses and a waste facility.

However, there are already concerns about how this would impact on the busy A259 Bognor Road and the A27 Bognor roundabout.

Current proposals would have traffic lights put in along the Bognor Road, allowing traffic to enter and exit the site.

Oving Parish Council’s planning committee has not yet decided its response to the plan.

However, the council’s chairman Sjoerd Schuyleman made no secret of the fact he has ‘serious reservations’ about the proposals.

He said there were also long-term plans to close Vinnetrow Road and have it joining the A259 instead.

“If you imagine every morning, there’s queueing on two lanes of the dual carriageway (along the A259).

“So to have traffic coming in at traffic lights at the diverted Vinnetrow Road would just add to that 
chaos, to say nothing of the traffic coming in from the MOD site, which is also trying to turn right out of the site and join the queueing traffic on the A259.”

Since the site was decommissioned in 1994, it has been vacant, although a number of buildings remain.

The site is currently labelled as ‘brownfield land’.

Chichester historian Ken Green has previously said the former petrol depot was used during the second world war by RAF Tangmere, with Nazi propaganda in the war saying they ‘knew about the petrol dump in Chichester’.

According to the design and access statement: “Discussions are ongoing with potential occupiers for the discount retail unit to enable a more accurate requirement for the future user.”

Aldi supermarkets are expanding around the country, with the label of a quality, budget supermarket.

The planning application specifically states the plans are being prepared for a ‘discount food’ supermarket.

In December, the firm released a list of targets where it was hoping to set up shop, one of which was Chichester.

The Observer approached Aldi this week with this planning application.

It refused to confirm it was the supermarket in question for this site.

However, it did release the following statement: “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. We look forward to bringing retail choice to Chichester and providing shoppers with high-quality products at everyday low prices.”

According to Hanbury Properties, it had several enquiries from firms, which it said ‘highlighted that there is no alternative accommodation in the locality to support their future growth’.

“The applicant can confirm that there is sufficient interest in the development which would provide them with enough comfort to invest in the development of the entire site,” said the design and access statement.

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