ALDI has appealed to the Secretary of State for approval to build a supermarket at the Bath Road Trading Estate, after Stroud District Council rejected its intial planning application.

After SDC initially rejected Aldi’s plans last year, the German giant applied again with a fresh proposal and expected a decision in April this year, but the council delayed its verdict due to news of a potential £10 million investment in Merrywalks shopping centre.

Aldi’s application was then expected to be determined at this month’s planning committee meeting, on July 18, but a council IT error meant that the public couldn’t comment on the proposal online beforehand – so the decision was delayed again, until the next meeting in September.

Aldi has now gone above the council to the Secretary of State, meaning a government planning inspector will make the final decision at an appeal hearing.

This decision will relate to Aldi's initial application last year, which was rejected by SDC.

The second application, which was deferred in April, is technically still 'live' and due for a decision in September but, of course, if Aldi wins the appeal to the Secretary of State, this second application will almost certainly be withdrawn.

Plans for an Aldi have been largely supported by Stroud residents, who believe a budget supermarket is needed in the town.

For the full story and reaction, see this Wednesday’s newspaper.