Sunderland business owners concerned over plans for new Aldi

Former Dwehirst site at Pennywell Industrial Estate, Sunderland.
Former Dwehirst site at Pennywell Industrial Estate, Sunderland.
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Residents have hit out at plans to build a new Aldi supermarket on Sunderland’s Pennywell Industrial Estate.

The supermarket giant submitted plans to Sunderland City Council’s planning department in March for the new store on the former Dewhirst site.

Local residents and shop staff concerns over Aldi supermarket being built off Hylton Road.
Front from left local shop staff Francesca Sherwood and Gillian Johnson

Local residents and shop staff concerns over Aldi supermarket being built off Hylton Road. Front from left local shop staff Francesca Sherwood and Gillian Johnson

It hopes to join KFC and pub chain Marston’s on the site as part of a “multi-million pound investment” promised by the firms.

If approved, the food store - which would be on the corner of Hylton Road and Chester Road - would generate 35 new jobs, as well as provide construction roles and support roles in the supply chain.

But residents and business owners near the site said the store would have a detrimental effect to those living and working in the area.

Kim Kaur, 34, manager of Nemo’s fish and chip shop on Hylton Road, said: “We are really worried.

“We are concerned about the effect it will have on the business - I am going to lose staff.

“It will also affect my family, as my daughter goes to school down the A19 and there is going to be even more traffic.

“The housing estate will become more like a shopping estate and we are worried with the later opening hours it will lead to an influx in crime and gangs.”

Gillian Johnson, 52, who works at the Premier store on Hylton Road, agreed. She said: “It is going to take a lot of business away from the other shops. We are also concerned about the increased traffic and the risk of increased crime.”

Aaron Singh, 34, the manager of best-one convenience store on Railway Terrace, said he was angry residents had not been able to meet a planning officer involved.

He said: “The planning officer in this case has failed to meet any resident, local business who object to the project - despite many requests.

“If the Aldi opens we fear that we may have to close down and our four staff will lose their jobs.”

An Aldi spokesman said: “Aldi is pleased that our application to bring a new food store to Pennywell is recommended for approval by officers.

“97% of people who responded to our consultation on the proposals gave their support, with 118 people also writing to Sunderland City Council urging councillors to approve the scheme.

“Planning officers have concluded that the proposals will have no impact on the vitality of nearby local centres.

“We look forward to presenting our proposals to councillors next week.”

Sunderland City Council planners are due to make their decision on the application on Tueusday.

The plans can be viewed and commented on at www.sunderland.gov.uk using the reference 17/00417/FUL