Aldi wants to build a discount food store, a replacement garden centre and other commercial buildings on the Malmesbury Garden Centre site off Crudwell Road - and the plans have been recommended for approval.
Lidl is bidding to build a store on farmland east of the A429, on the other side of the road to the Waitrose supermarket. Their application has been recommended for refusal, because planners say it is outside the settlement boundary of the town, and would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area.
Both schemes have attracted interest in the town, and hundreds of comments and letters have been submitted by local people, both for and against.
Aldi held a public exhibition in December to show what its plans involve. A spokesman said that exhibition feedback showed that 83 per cent of local respondents preferred Aldi’s brownfield plans to Lidl’s greenfield plans, quoting a Barley Close resident who said, “Site is far better than Lidl” and an Abbey Row resident who commented, “Lidl will create a precedence for building on that side of the bypass which is not good.”
Lidl has sent its plan to 6,413 households in and around Malmesbury. A spokesman said there were over 1,000 positive responses, with over 1,530 people signing an online petition of support.
Cllr Roger Budgen, chairman of St Paul Malmesbury Without parish council, said: “Huge numbers of people in the parish want a food store, almost regardless of where it is. Others think it (either store) will impact that side of the town.”
He said the Lidl bid was outside the town boundary but the Aldi plan had its short comings too, such as pedestrian access. “Having two bus stops either side of a dual carriageway is not clever,” he said. “There are serious concerns on both applications.”
The meeting of the Northern Area Planning Committee is at 3pm in the Monkton Park offices in Chippenham.