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Plans withdrawn for second Aldi supermarket in Bury St Edmunds which would have created hundreds of jobs

Plans for a second Aldi supermarket in Bury St Edmunds in a multi-million pound development which was set to generate hundreds of jobs have been withdrawn.

The proposals for the scheme on Suffolk Park included an innovation centre and retail/commercial kiosks and could have created nearly 400 jobs.

However, applicants Jaynic and Aldi have withdrawn the plans following discussions with West Suffolk Council over issues surrounding planning policy.

Concept image of the Aldi, innovation centre and retail/commercial kiosks on Suffolk Park. Picture: Jaynic
Concept image of the Aldi, innovation centre and retail/commercial kiosks on Suffolk Park. Picture: Jaynic

A planning policy statement recommended the proposal be refused for 'failing to accord with both national and local policies'.

It noted the site was designated as employment land and the proposal was 'expected to have an adverse effect on employment generation'.

It added: "It is important the site is retained for the purpose/use it was originally designated to ensure the future employment needs are met over the longer term."

There were further objections from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, the Economic Development and Business Growth service and the highways authority.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds, said: "The proximity of this location to the residents of Moreton Hall (key customers of our members) means it will be a huge threat to town centre businesses, particularly with permission sought for retail units as well as the supermarket."

A New Anglia LEP spokesman said: "Whilst, in general, New Anglia LEP welcomes the establishment of new innovation centres, we are of the view that without some element of public sector funding they are generally unsustainable.

"We would question the commercial viability of the innovation centre proposed for Suffolk Park as currently there is no identified source of additional funding to cover any initial gaps in capital investment or the ongoing operational revenue."

The innovation centre was designed to provide office space for local businesses and start-ups.

The retail and commercial kiosks could have included coffee shops, sandwich bars, and secretarial and administrative services.

Aldi already has a store in Dettingen Way, Bury St Edmunds, and previously said the new shop would 'reduce the need to travel' across town for some customers.

Ben Oughton, development director at Jaynic, said: "From the outset, we have always made clear our desire to try and work together with West Suffolk Council planning officers to help facilitate ongoing and continued investment by Aldi and Jaynic in Bury St Edmunds.

"Aldi has a clear need for another store in the east part of the town and there is overwhelming support from the public and local businesses for the complementary amenities at SuffolkPark. However this is not a view shared by the council.

"Since working with the council remains our preferred approach and, although this has not been possible in this instance, we would like it to form the basis of any future discussions, and it is with this objective that has ultimately influenced our decision to withdraw the application.

"We would like to thank the council planning officers for their time and input spent on the application and look forward to future discussions."

A West Suffolk Council spokesman said: "While the planning application went against both national and local planning policies, and the applicants were informed of this back in September, it was their decision to withdraw the application prior to consideration by members at the development control committee.”

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