Aldi committed to Cumbernauld despite 4 months of inaction

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 15:09 on 22 May 2015

Aldi    Westway Retail Park

The former Au Naturel unit could become home to a new Aldi, if planning permission is followed through. Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry.

GERMAN supermarket chain Aldi remains committed to Cumbernauld, and continues to have their eyes fixed on opening a new store in the town.

Cumbernauld Media contacted the company after eager readers wanted to know what was happening, and to find out whether the firm were indeed to open an outlet in Cumbernauld, after planning permission for a store was granted earlier this year.

On January 28th, 2015, North Lanarkshire Council’s planning department chose to grant permission to an application that sought to amalgamate two of the empty units in Westway Retail Park, before being fitted out with Aldi in mind.

Owners of Westway Retail Park, Cumbernauld Retail Park Ltd Partnership, submitted their planning application to North Lanarkshire Council in December 2014, seeking permission to join empty units 5b and 6 to become a brand new supermarket.

In justifying the council’s approval of planning permission, Head of Planning and Regeneration, Shirley Linton wrote in her decision notice: "The proposal to permit the sale of convenience goods from the retail units 5b and 6 would be appropriate at this commercial centre location and is in accordance with policy RTC 1B1 North Lanarkshire Local Plan.”

Before the application was even submitted, a number of local residents were calling for Aldi to come to the town, to provide variety against the monopoly of ASDA and Tesco.

Aldi themselves had been looking for potential premises in Cumbernauld for some time before the application for the conversion of the two Westway units was submitted, with their preferred location at the former ice rink, on St. Mungo’s Road not being big enough to meet their needs.

Aldi's property requirements stipulate that: “We have an ambitious UK investment and development programme, which means that we are always looking for sites with a catchment population in excess of 10,000 and ideally situated on principal roads with prominent road frontage,” whilst the company will accept to purchase freehold premises in town centres or edge of centre sites suitable for development – with a minimum site size of 0.8 acres. 

At present, Westway Retail Park, on Castlecary Way, has approximately 664 parking spaces, and is home to retail outlets such as DIY chain, B&Q; electronics store, Currys; and, Halfords.

Today, however, nearly four months after planning permission was granted, paving the way for Aldi to open a new store in Cumbernauld, if they wish, we’ve learned that although the company remains hopeful of opening a Cumbernauld outlet, nothing is “confirmed”.

A spokesman for Aldi told Cumbernauld Media: "Aldi remains focussed on opening a store in Cumbernauld, however we have nothing confirmed at this stage to report."