Aldi’s plans for Cupar spark safety concerns

Aldi's vision of what the new store would look like
Aldi's vision of what the new store would look like
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The road to the aisles could prove rockier than expected for a national retailer hoping to build a new supermarket in Cupar.

News that Aldi Stores Ltd. had lodged an application for a new discount store on the former Martex Cash and Carry site in South Road was initially widely welcomed.

The vast majority of people who visited a public exhibition last year gave the plans a thumbs-up.

But objections are beginning to mount up , with rival store Lidl and Cupar and North Fife Preservation Society among those not happy about the prospect.

Aldi wants to build a 1500 sq.ft. foodstore along with parking provision for more than 90 cars.

The company says the development would bring with it around 30 full-time and part-time jobs.

Around 1300 products would be available in the store, but it would not offer a butchery, fishmongers’ or pharmacy and would not sell cigarettes.

However, concerns have been raised by nearby residents, principally on the grounds of road safety.

They fear that it would exacerbate the already notorious congestion in South Road.

“ We have one of the biggest primary schools in Fife being served by this road,” said one objector.

“Parents use Tesco’s car park at drop off and pick up times as well as surrounding streets. I have no doubt that Aldi’s car park will be used for the same purpose, allowing children to exit directly on to South Road.

“It can take up to five minutes to exit Ceres Road and St Michaels Drive on to South Road at present.

“The addition of this parking area will only add significantly to the congestion and safety risks.

“The last thing Cupar needs in the South Road area is another multiple retail outlet.

“The safety implications along with congestion issues in this area are already a major problem. Surely we should not be adding to these?”

The entrance and exit to the proposed new store would be at the location of the previous access point for Martex, with a dedicated right hand turn off South Road.

This, says Aldi, will maintain traffic flow along South Road, which would be widened to some degree .

It’s also hoped to provide pedestrian access to the site from South Road and a new walkway would be created linking the store with Fisher and Donaldson’s bakery.

In July 2007, Aldi had an application for the same site rejected. The application to create a new grocery store, plus the construction of eight affordable housing units, had been recommended for refusal by the local authority’s planners.

Cupar Community Council also opposed the plan on the basis that the store would present a threat to the viability of the town centre.