The council’s cabinet agreed to sell land at Salt Lake car park, Porthcawl, to the retailer so the company can build a store on the site.
During a meeting held on Tuesday, January 19, cabinet members formally decided to dispose of the two-acre site, known locally as The Green, to Aldi Stores Ltd.
Cabinet member for education and regeneration Charles Smith said Aldi’s bid for the site was “quite an historic proposal”. “Hopefully this is a landmark in the regeneration of Porthcawl,” he added.
Now that the council has agreed to sell the land to Aldi the company must submit a planning application to build a food store within six months of entering a lease agreement.
The council received five bids for the land according to a report by Janine Nightingale, the council’s corporate director for communities. Ms Nightingale said: “Aldi are very keen to get a planning application into the council.”
She also said the design is “very high-quality” and “in theory” the store could be built “within the next couple of years”.
Aldi was selected as the preferred bidder for bidding the highest price for the site, though the figure has not been disclosed on account of commercial sensitivity. According to Ms Nightingale the sketches of the proposed store are also commercially sensitive.
Of the five bids received only two were compliant with the requirements of the planning development brief drawn up by the council.
Before the sale of the land was approved Ms Nightingale told councillors: “We didn’t want just a normal run of the mill food store, we wanted something that had a bit of quality to it and used quality materials.”
She added the names of the other bidders cannot be revealed as this is a “commercially confident” subject.
The council says the development will kickstart further projects around Porthcawl such as new homes as well as commercial and leisure developments.
In November 2018 BCBC agreed to use £2.5m of the capital receipt from selling the land at Salt lake to invest in infrastructure around Porthcawl. This includes upgrading the town centre’s Hillsborough car park.
EJ Hales advertised the site for bids on behalf of BCBC in late September 2020, with a deadline of noon on December 2.
Cllr Richard Young said he thinks the food store will “draw a lot of people into Porthcawl”. He asked whether the store would benefit local retailers.
Ms Nightingale said the plans include some active travel links and pathways leading to the town centre from Salt Lake. “We would like to look at linking back the dock street into the town centre frontage,” she said.
Cllr Young said: “I’m very pleased to hear the fact that those traditional, historical links are going to be reintroduced.”
As part of the disposal agreement Aldi will have the site for a 999-year lease.
They must also enter into an agreement for the lease within eight weeks after cabinet approval and then submit a planning application for the store within six months.
Works must begin within six months of planning consent being granted. If planning consent is not secured within 18 months of entering into the lease agreement then the agreement will be terminated.
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Ms Nightingale said council officers were “very pleased” with the plans submitted by Aldi. “In particular we like the fact that it’s got some open space for the public.”
She said officers “wanted to ensure any regeneration does keep some key views down to the sea.”
Council leader Huw David said the plans have “been a long time in the making”.