Opinions are divided over plans to build a new Aldi supermarket in Reading. 

Aldi has submitted an application to build a new store at the Winnersh Fields Business Park, which is located in Gazelle Close off Reading Road in Winnersh. 

The proposal involves building a 1,875 square metre store with 124 customer parking spaces.

Neighbours have had an opportunity to have their say about the plans, with nearby businesses raising concerns about the potential increase in traffic.

Simon Cooper said: “This is madness, it will destroy our car park access and our environment.

“There is not the space for this mad proposal and it will be a disaster for everyone except those who visit on foot who may well be terrorised by frustrated drivers anyway.”

James Weedon, writing on behalf of the owners of The Pastures office complex in Gazelle Close argued that traffic is “already extremely busy” with Pets at Home, Halfords and Wickes – raising fears the Aldi would create a “bottle neck.”

He also raised concerns that the site sits on a flood plain.

Aldi has attempted to lay out how it will manage the risk of flooding in an assessment submitted with the application.

Meanwhile, some shoppers in the  area welcomed the supermarket variety Aldi would provide. Miss J Prassanan said: “I would welcome a new Aldi in Winnersh, the budget supermarket offers great value for money.

“I don’t drive so having a budget friendly shop close by would be ideal and mean not having to get two buses or one bus then walk for two miles to shop.

“I know there are other supermarkets in Winnersh & Earley but Sainsburys is unaffordable and Asda doesn’t offer the quality for the price that Aldi does.”

Responding to the application, Rob Pulver said: “I agree with Aldi that Winnersh would benefit from having a local affordable supermarket. It would offer residents more choice and keep other supermarkets on their toes.

“No doubt it would also benefit the other outlets already on the proposed retail site.”

Mr Pulver noted that the Gazelle Close is already a retail location, but acknowledged concerns about the single entrance and exit to the site.

He suggested that an access road to and from the retail park onto the new B3270 bypass road could be built to address concerns about the entrance and exit.

But not everyone feels a new supermarket is needed in the area.

Mohammed Shaid Ali commented on the plans: “We have enough supermarkets throughout Wokingham and Winnersh, including petrol new petrol stations with grocery stores!

“How many more can a borough need ! How about some new stores in this area ! Or a bowling alley, something for the kids to do as it’s a retail location!”

Winnersh sits within Wokingham Borough, with a decision on the Aldi store likely to be made by the council’s planning committee. No target decision date has been set for the store yet.

You can view the application yourself by typing reference 230099 into the council’s planning portal.