CASH-strapped shoppers in Newbury are set to benefit as budget supermarket chain Aldi is poised to open its first store in the town after more than three years of battling.
The German food retailer has demolished the buildings at the site of the former Renault dealership in London Road it bought in 2009, and gained initial approval from West Berkshire Council to begin construction.
Aldi has more than 400 outlets across the UK, and following a number of years in which recession-hit shoppers have been forced to hunt out bargains its popularity is higher than ever.
Newbury is one of 30 stores it intends to open, and is expected to create about 12 jobs in the town, with graduates singled out.
The plan is for a 1,769 square metre supermarket - more than 100 square metres larger than the proposals rejected three years ago- with 68 car parking spaces.
Outcry followed the 2009 refusal with councillors and members of the public dismayed that council officers had taken the decision without the matter being put to a committee vote.
Aldi held a public consultation to gauge public opinion after it bought the land, and revealed that it had been trying to find a suitable site in the town for the last 10 years.
The new kid on the block is likely to reignite supermarket wars in Newbury with the revamped Marks and Spencer nearby, Waitrose on Oxford Road, another recession-busting discount retailer, Lidl, a short distance away, and the latest Tesco store on London Road.
According to the plans the supermarket would be open between 8am and 9pm weekdays and Saturdays and between 10am and 5pm on Sundays and bank holidays.
When approached Aldi said it had no comment to make in addition to the plans on the council’s website, but that it would make an announcement in the coming weeks.
West Berkshire Council’s planning officers approved early applications to construct the store, and are now poring over separate applications from Aldi concerning signage at the site.