Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Supermarkets – good and bad news for Kent

As Tesco announces it is shelving plans to develop its Lowfield Street development in Dartford – despite 12 years of planning – Aldi has unveiled plans for a £50m regional distribution centre and offices on the Isle of Sheppey.

The discount retailer has unveiled plans for a 14-acre warehouse with more than 90 goods-in and goods-out service bays, as well as 40,000ft2 of office space with parking for 325 cars.

Seven years since securing outline planning permission, Aldi’s new distribution centre will provide hundreds of jobs and put an estimated 1,674 additional vehicles on the local road. 

Aldi’s investment will inevitably put added pressure on Jn5 of the M20 and strengthen the case for Highways Agency-funded improvements, and even the prospect of a new Jn5a.

Tesco’s Dartford, and also Strood, plans were two of 49 proposed developments mothballed by Britain’s largest supermarket. The announcement has prompted Dartford politicians to call for Tesco to relinquish its interest on Lowfield Street in order to help the council secure other investors.

Morrisons, having struggled over the festive period has also announced it is to close 10 loss-making stores – the locations of which are currently unknown.

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