A RETAIL giant is proposing to create 40 jobs in a town “crying out” for a new supermarket.
Supermarket chain Aldi has signalled its intent to open a store in Buckley on a site which would bypass years of wrangling between the town council and the Royal British Legion.
Buckley Town Council and the RBL have reached an impasse over the sale of the legion’s disused premises on Precinct Way, which had been earmarked for a potential new store.
But plans drawn up by German-based low-cost chain Aldi would see a 1,700 square metre single-storey supermarket and more than 100 parking spaces located on a parcel of land nearly 1.5 acres in size.
Community leaders have described the move as “an exciting step” after the company notified residents of its intentions – after 15 years of trying to secure a large new supermarket for the town.
Aldi is now inviting residents to find out more about the proposal at the site of the Potters Wheel and part of the precinct car park on Precinct Way.
Cllr David Ellis, whose initial phone call attracted the attention of Aldi more than a year ago, said: “Residents want more shopping options in the town and now they will be consulted about the plans.
“Aldi do appear to be very interested and the potential for more jobs is always welcome.
“It is a positive step and their plans look very encouraging.”
Councillors have long bemoaned the absence of a large supermarket in Buckley, leaving many shoppers with little option but to travel to Mold to buy their weekly goods.
Buckley, which has a population of about 15,000 people, has to contend with just two small chain stores while Mold – which has about two-thirds of its neighbouring town’s population – enjoys the presence of six medium to large supermarkets.
The council had ideally wanted to utilise existing vacant space as well as land which could have been procured from the potential purchase of the RBL site.
But despite lengthy negotiations, the two parties have been unable to thrash out a deal.
Cllr Ellis revealed Aldi made a presentation to the Buckley Town Partnership group early last year.
A spokesman for Aldi, which operates stores in more than 7,000 locations globally, said: “We are committed to investing in Flintshire and are excited about the prospect of delivering a new Aldi store to Buckley.
“Aldi’s proposal would improve local shopping choice and fulfil a recognised need for another food retailer in Buckley.
“The proposal would also deliver multi-million pound investment directly into the area and create up to 40 new jobs for local people, as well as additional employment during the construction phase.”
Buckley and Flintshire councillor Carol Ellis said: “Buckley has been crying out for a new supermarket for about 15 years but this is an exciting step forward.”
Aldi is holding a public exhibition on Tuesday for residents to find out more about the proposal and give feedback on the preliminary plans.
The event takes place from 3pm to 7pm at St John United Reformed Church on Hawkesbury Road, Buckley.