Aldi plan approval is deemed ‘reckless’ and ‘out of touch’

The proposed Aldi store in Clapham Road.
The proposed Aldi store in Clapham Road.

More traffic congestion is on the cards after plans for a second supermarket in Bedford’s clogged up Ampthill Road were given the green light.

Aldi has been granted planning permission to build a food store adjacent to Morrison’s despite objections due to the increased traffic it could cause.

Councillor Anthony Boutall, who has previously called for Bedford Borough Council to investigate solutions to ease traffic misery, said: “I was recently promised that the council would look into alleviating unbearable traffic problems on Ampthill Road and the surrounding areas.

“Instead they have seemingly given zero concern and recklessly pressed ahead with yet another pressure point, snubbing those problems faced by many residents.

“No-one wants to prevent businesses from coming to any part of Bedford borough, but it is imperative that we only make sensible planning decisions that will be properly supported by existing or improved infrastructure.

“There appears to be utter disregard for this long standing problem under the current Liberal Democrat and Labour Executive, and the decision makers seem to be increasingly out of touch.”

Objectors to the plan, considered by the council’s planning committee on Monday night, fear the additional supermarket will exacerbate traffic.

In comments submitted to the council, one objector said: “Ampthill Road frequently comes to a complete standstill for the whole of its length because of Morrison’s.”

While another opposer said: “The increased traffic would have a knock-on effect, in that it would cause even more traffic to use Elstow Road, thus endangering the children who need to cross that road.”

A second planning application for an Aldi store in Clapham Road has not yet been decided upon.