PLANS to build a new Aldi store next to a housing development have been backed for approval after more than 100 people showed their support.

The discount food retailer announced its intention to create a supermarket on around three acres of land at the corner of Gresford Road and the Straight Mile in Llay, Wrexham last summer.

The company said the scheme would create up to 40 new jobs and provide a modern food store in a convenient location for the village.

The 1,333-square-metre store would be located next to 362 homes which are currently being built as part of the Home Farm development, which was controversially approved on appeal by the Welsh Government.

Aldi submitted an appeal regarding its own plans in October after becoming frustrated with the time taken by Wrexham Council to make a decision.

However, councillors have now been recommended to grant permission after 114 representations were received in favour of the application, with only three objecting.

The local authority’s chief planning officer Lawrence Isted said Aldi had successfully demonstrated the need for a supermarket in the village, with some residents currently travelling into Flintshire to do their shopping.

In a report, he said: “Based on the evidence submitted by the applicant, about 22 per cent of expenditure leaking out of the catchment area is spent in discount supermarkets, the nearest being Aldi and Lidl stores in Wrexham, Broughton and Buckley.

“On this basis, there would appear to be demand for the proposal in this location which would assist in providing consumer goods at discount prices whilst simultaneously reducing travel costs for shoppers currently having to shop elsewhere within or outside the county.

“This would further reinforce the qualitative demand for the proposal, in supporting the local and immediate surrounding communities.”

One bone of contention which has arisen over the development is whether the supermarket firm should be required to take action to mitigate the impact of traffic on the nearby Crown crossroads.

The proposed store would be served by a new access point off the B5373 Gresford Road approximately 135 metres south of the crossroads, with a left only turn off the Straight Mile.

Local councillor Rob Walsh said it could lead to significant problems with traffic queuing.

He said: “Despite proposed junction improvements, the addition of 360 houses plus a food store will attract more traffic to the vicinity than ever before.

“The danger is that this junction, even with improvements could end up in permanent gridlock to the enormous volume of traffic.”

In response, Mr Isted said the highways authority had not raised any objections and he believed any issues could be dealt with by planning conditions.

The proposals will be discussed by the council’s planning committee at a meeting on Monday, December 7.