The discount supermarket chain Aldi said that it remained committed to building a new store in Hove after withdrawing a planning application for its site next to the A27 Brighton bypass.
And it promised to work with Brighton and Hove City Council officers to address the issues raised in a report to councillors.
Councillors, civic groups and neighbours objected to the plans for the site which overlooks Toads Hole Valley where 880 new homes are planned.
Aldi paid £5.5 million for the site – known as Court Farm House – at the top of King George VI Avenue, known locally as Snakey Hill.
Its planning application for a new store on the two-and-a-half-acre site was due to be decided by the council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday (2 February).
But after council officers recommended that councillors turn down the application, Aldi emailed the council to withdraw the plans.
Aldi said: “In light of further survey work being required, Aldi has decided to withdraw its planning application.
“Aldi will continue to work alongside officers to address matters raised and remains committed to delivering a new high-quality discount food store for Hove.”
The scheme included parking for 120 cars and floorspace totalling 1,895 square metres – similar to the Lidl at the Goldstone Retail Park, in Old Shoreham Road, Hove.
It would be Aldi’s fourth Brighton and Hove store, with shops already trading in London Road and Lewes Road, in Brighton, and Carlton Terrace, in Portslade.
The report to councillors recommended refusing permission because the land is earmarked for “mixed use” – including housing – in the City Plan, the planning blueprint for the area.
A report to councillors said that Aldi’s “transport assessment is not robust” and failed “to demonstrate that the proposal would have an acceptable impact on the road network and that future users would not be heavily reliant on the use of private cars”.
The report also said: “The proposal fails to provide adequate walking and cycling linkages to surrounding areas and would compromise the successful delivery of the strategic infrastructure necessary to enable sustainable delivery of the Court Farm and Toad’s Hole Valley sites.
“The proposal fails to enhance public transport accessibility. Insufficient information has been provided to adequately demonstrate that the proposal would not significantly compromise highway safety.
“The proposal does not represent good-quality design. The proposals do not successfully integrate with the verdant landscape character of the wider locality or that proposed for the adjacent Toad’s Hole Valley site.
“The proposal has failed to demonstrate that it would adequately preserve or enhance the biodiversity of the site and not have a harmful impact on hazel dormice and reptiles in particular.”
And the report said: “The proposals fail to adequately incorporate appropriate blue / green infrastructure such as a nature-based sustainable drainage system (SuDS) and have not demonstrated that ground water sources would be adequately protected from pollutants.”
Aldi’s plans attracted objections from dozens of neighbours as well as ward councillors Vanessa Brown and Samer Bagaeen, the Goldstone Valley Residents’ Association, Hove Civic Society, the Regency Society, Cycling UK and Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth.
No timescale was given for the submission of any new planning application.
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