A PLAN to build a supermarket on the outskirts of Ruthin has been met with concerns about the “unnecessary” damage it could cause to the environment.

German discount food retailer Aldi revealed its plans to build a store on the green site neighbouring the Ruthin Livestock Market in April.

Because the proposed 3.67-acre site is located about one mile outside the town, infrastructure including an access road and car park with 138 spaces would be built.

Aldi would also construct an industrial unit, made available for use by local businesses, which could be expanded eight-fold within the proposed site if there is demand.

Denbighshire Free Press:

A graphic design of the Aldi store, near the Ruthin Livestock Market. Picture: Aldi

The retailer's consultation has received approval from 92 per cent of participants so far. Ruthin currently has Tesco and Co-op stores, which some residents say they find too expensive and have to travel to Denbigh or Mold.

However other residents say it would be environmentally irresponsible to build the new store.

Mair Davies, environmental campaigner from Ruthin, said: “The population of Ruthin is only about 5,500 and we already have two supermarkets, as well as a number of independent shops which sufficiently support the needs of the residents. There are Aldi stores in Mold, Buckley, Denbigh, Wrexham and Llangollen, all of which can be accessed by residents by bus or a 35-minute drive.

“An extra store is overkill and unnecessary. The site could be used for something that would actually benefit the community, and not unnecessarily cause damage to a valuable green space.”

Ruthin resident Rose Hislop said: “I think Aldi would be of benefit to Ruthin but we really do need to wake up to our environmental responsibilities. There are already thousands of new houses being built on excellent farmland in Denbighshire.”

Resident Richard Purser added: “I appreciate it could mean more jobs, however you may see other jobs lost in the established shops. The priorities are all wrong. Everyone is an environmentalist until it affects them or they think they can save money.”

Denbighshire Free Press:

The plan would include employment units for use by Ruthin businesses. Picture: Aldi

Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Ruthin county councillor, said he understands the environmental concerns but that they are outweighed by the benefits. He added: “I have challenged Aldi on whether they had considered a site closer to the town, however there are none that are big enough.

“The proposed site has been marked for development for a long time, but the cost of the infrastructure required to build there has been a deterrent. Aldi are prepared to invest, which will benefit local businesses because industrial units will be built and made available.”

Gavin Harris, mayor of Ruthin, said: “All of the Vale of Clwyd has good agricultural land and, although green, the proposed site is not a large and expansive field. There are a lot of brown sites in Ruthin but they are not big enough to build the store on. The proposed site has also been marked for development for nearly two decades.

“I also do not think there would be a clamour for another store if this is built because it would mean Ruthin has a discount store.”

A number of residents took to the community Facebook group Fans of Ruthin to express their excitement.

Ceri Latiri said: “I would value an Aldi in Ruthin to save the cost of fuel, for me and the environment, going to Mold and Denbigh. Unfortunately we cannot afford to shop in Tesco and Co-op.”

Gail Jepson commented: “Think of all of the houses which are being built in the Ruthin area. Llanbedr, Glasdir and 60 plus in Llanfair, so an Aldi would be great. We also need local jobs for local people.”

Angie Phillips added: “That field is hardly beautiful, rammed between the farmers market, building suppliers and other industry. We also need to accept Ruthin is growing and with it better and bigger amenities are required.”

Aldi is still gathering the public's views before lodging a planning application this summer.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “This site has been allocated as land for employment development in Denbighshire County Council’s Local Development Plan, and sits between the recently consented and constructed Market and the well-established industrial estate to the north.

“We are encouraged by the feedback received so far. We are confident that this proposal will help local businesses expand and create dozens of jobs for Ruthin.”

Denbighshire County Council’s planning committee would need to approve the plan for it to go ahead, but cannot comment until an application has been made.