Hopes of Aldi building a store in Cupar received a big boost this week when the town’s community council did an about-turn and backed the plan.
Only last month, the council agreed to lodge an objection because of the proposed store’s location, with members feeling it would be more suited in the north of the town. There were also transportation concerns.
On Tuesday night, however, following a presentation by Aldi representatives and consultants, it was decided to support the application.
Members were told that Aldi had conducted a comprehensive transport assessment, examining the impact the store would have on the surrounding road network.
It was calculated on the basis that Tesco had secured planning consent for a new store, with the increased traffic that would generate.
Consultant Graham Kelly said that as part of the survey, traffic counts, nearby junctions and peak period flows had been taken into account, based on the Aldi store opening in 2015.
The survey revealed that traffic associated with the development would have a minimal impact on neighbouring roads.
As part of the plans to relieve congestion in the area, a yellow line waiting restriction is likely to be implemented in South Road, in the area opposite the Ceres Road junction.
To offset the loss of on-street parking, Aldi is proposing to provide 11 bays which would be zoned for residents, with a further 82 spaces for customers.
Parking restrictions of between 90 minutes and two hours would apply to shoppers.
A path is planned to run between Aldi’s and bakers Fisher and Donaldson next door - providing a spin-off for both businesses.
Planning consultant Steven Robb said they were still awaiting a response from Fife Council’s transportation service. If it was positive, he was hopeful that the local authority planners would recommend approval of the application.
Community council chair, Canon Pat McInally, said he was still worried how parking restrictions would affect the proprietor of the Golf Tavern in South Road.
Aldi property director, Graham Nicholson, said there would be no parking restrictions at weekends and at other times, the store would be “quite flexible.” What they didn’t want was station users parking all day.
Asked if a roundabout could be built at the Ceres Road junction, Mr Kelly said that wouldn’t be possible as there was no room. It would have also meant the car park being half the size proposed.
Community councillor Pete Cura said he now fully supported the application, particularly on discovering that Aldi had come top of a consumer magazine survey of supermarkets.
His backing was shared by fellow member David Kirk, who said the traffic assessment was well researched, with provision made for residents.
Council planning spokesperson Loretta Mordi said their objection would now be withdrawn, in light of the new information.