Aldi confirms Cumbernauld store ambitions

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 22:49 on 3 December 2014.
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Westway Retail Park is the preferred site for the new store. Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry.

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ON THE same day that Tesco has confirmed they are proceeding with their proposals to set-up shop in the Condorrat area of Cumbernauld, Aldi has confirmed to Cumbernauld Media that they too are planning a new store in Cumbernauld.

Cumbernauld Media has learned that, for some time, Aldi has been looking for potential premises in Cumbernauld; and, after finding that the former ice rink, on St. Mungo’s Road wasn’t big enough to meet their needs, the chain has set their sights firmly on Westway Retail Park.

“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,” a spokesperson for the company explained.

According to the chain’s property requirements, 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. Westway Retail Park’s units meet those requirements.

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.

Cumbernauld Media has learned that the units being looked at by the supermarket chain – which has 55 Scottish stores, and has been increasing its market share against competitors ASDA and Tesco, due to price wars – include vacant premises 5b and 6, creating a floor space of up to 20,000sq. ft, with an application for the development made public earlier this week.

Owners of Westway Retail Park, Cumbernauld Retail Park Ltd Partnership, have submitted a planning application to North Lanarkshire Council that would see the empty 5b and 6 units at the Park amalgamated into one premises, before being fitted out to become a store.

A Planning Statement and Retail Impact Assessment for the development has also been submitted to North Lanarkshire Council, by Savills Planning, on behalf of the retail park’s owners.

In their statement, Savills explain: “Whilst the new, amalgamated unit (5b & 6) is not intended to be limited to occupation by a specific retailer in perpetuity, the new unit would be fitted out to meet Aldi’s requirements.”

Today’s confirmation comes after a report from February last year, in which we confirmed Aldi had been in discussions with the owner of the vacant Ice House unit near Cumbernauld town centre. Then, in January this year, we reported that a Proposal of Application Notice had been submitted to North Lanarkshire Council by a company frequently used by Sainsbury’s – suggesting that the firm might have been hoping to set up shop in Cumbernauld. 

The planning application being put forward for a brand new Aldi in Cumbernauld was only validated by the council yesterday (2 December), while a target determination date of February 2, 2015 has been set against the application. 

“A change of use planning application is being submitted to facilitate an amalgamation of vacant units 5b and 6 and, allow for the sale of convenience goods and occupation by Aldi,” a spokesperson for Cumbernauld Retail Park Ltd Partnership confirmed. 
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