Bury St Edmunds

Lookers Plc

Through extensive community consultation, RPS secured planning permission to build an Aldi foodstore on an out-of-centre site.

As the site was not in a preferred location, the Council refused any pre-application discussions, however after extensive community consultation RPS submitted a planning application for consideration. The application included a Planning Statement, Statement of Community Involvement, Design and Access Statement, Transport Assessment and Retail Report.

Despite the site being vacant for ten years, the landowner and a rival discount food retailer objected to the application on the basis of a nearby proposed development. We successfully argued against the objections and received support from the Council and local Ward Member who requested the application be considered at Committee.

An updated Retail Study delayed the application but we successfully submitted comments to the new Retail Study and argued that the application site was available for development unlike the objector’s favoured site. After in-depth negotiation, the Council conceded that, in policy terms, the application site was sequentially the best available site and recommended to approve the application.

Members of the Development Control Committee voted unanimously in favour of giving planning permission subject to conditions and a S106 agreement.