A second consultation on plans for an Aldi in Kennington has opened – as the land behind the site is put up for sale.
The budget supermarket wants to build its second store in Ashford opposite Longacres Garden Center off the A28 Canterbury Road.
Meanwhile, an empty plot of land behind the proposed shop has also been earmarked for development.
A 0.6-acre space, directly next door, is on the market with estate agents City & Counties which says it is an ‘ideal opportunity’ for a drive-thru restaurant.
The plot is part of a wider nine-acre development of the former Houchin Sports and Social Club site.
There was a suggestion the remaining land behind could become a retirement village, however it is understood this has now been dropped.
Other ideas include a boutique hotel, a cafe or restaurant, a garden centre, a car dealership or a leisure facility, among other uses, although nothing has yet been confirmed.
In the meantime, residents are invited to have their say on the Aldi store which, if built, will create 50 jobs and have a 120-space car park with 22 charging points for electric vehicles.
Aldi the 1.85-acre site, which had been previously purchased earmarked for a Miller and Carter Steakhouse, in 2019.
No planning application has been submitted yet, with the German discount brand hoping to hear residents’ views of the proposal beforehand.
But during a previous consultation, the idea of a new store was met with anger as some residents feel the already congested stretch will be unable to cope with the extra traffic accessing the “abysmally positioned” shop.
In a bid to mitigate this, supermarket bosses have confirmed traffic lights will be installed at the site entrance if plans are approved.
This could see lights erected at the Cemetery Lane junction which leads to Longacres Bybrook Barn and Harvester.
A spokesman for the supermarket chain said: “Aldi is seeking to signal the access junction to the site with traffic lights and plans will be submitted to Ashford Borough Council to this effect.
“Consultation will be conducted virtually, to allow as many residents as possible to engage and provide feedback.”
Ashford MP Damian Green says traffic is his biggest concern when it comes to the proposals.
“I’m in favor of new shops in the town and new opportunities for people but we need to be reassured that it won’t cause intolerable hold-ups,” he said.
“Traffic lights may help but without seeing detailed plans it’s hard to say.”
On the other side of Ashford, Aldi has also submitted plans for a store on the Waterbrook Park estate off the A2070 Bad Munstereifel Road. A decision on the scheme is yet to be made.
To have your say in the Kennington consultation, click here