Leighton Buzzard retail park developer confirms Aldi will take over from Wickes if planning permission is secured

Aldi's existing store in Vimy Road
Aldi's existing store in Vimy Road

Aldi will take over Wickes’ position as an anchor tenant for Leighton Buzzard’s new retail park, subject to planning permission being secured.

The discount food retailer is targeting the Grovebury Road site, but intends to keep open what would be a smaller base in Vimy Road as well.

Grovebury Road Retail Park

Grovebury Road Retail Park

Central Beds Council has now received a formal planning application which, if approved, would pave the way for a 1,858sq metre foodstore as Wickes – which has stores nearby in Bletchley and Dunstable and had originally signed up for Grovebury Road – has agreed to step aside.

The retail park, due to open in January 2019, originally gained planning permission in November 2013, with a condition that the presence of “convenience food retail” in the warehouses was forbidden.

However, last year, with M&S keen to put a Foodhall on the site, Central Beds Council agreed to amend the Section 106 agreement to allow its presence.

Retail park developer Claymore Phoenix is now seeking permission for a similar concession for Aldi.

A spokesman for Claymore Phoenix, told the LBO today (Friday): “We have submitted a planning application to Central Beds Council that will enable Aldi to occupy our large detached unit at the Grovebury Retail Park in Leighton Buzzard.

“Subject to the planning consent being granted, they will take over from Wickes. It is a further vote of confidence in the growing town of Leighton-Linslade that Aldi wish to invest in a second store alongside other high quality retailers that we have on the park.”

In a recent media release from Central Beds Council, KFC – along with Pets at Home, B&M Retail, Subway, and Topps Tiles – were confirmed as tenants, but KFC had not appeared on signage recently installed at the site.

Conversely Costa Coffee had appeared on the signage but hadn’t been included in the council’s list of tenants.

Claymore Phoenix has confirmed that the KFC deal is complete and that legalities were expected to be finalised with Costa Coffee in the next week or two.

Wickes has declined to comment on the situation, while the LBO has requested a comment from Aldi.

What’s your view? Would you prefer Aldi to Wickes? Email news@lbobserver.co.uk