Duke of Northumberland has bid approved for Alnwick food and wine shop

The Duke of Northumberland's bid for two new stores in his home town has been approved, despite opposition

The Duke of Northumberland
The Duke of Northumberland

The Duke of Northumberland’s plans to convert a former garage into a food store and wine shop have been given the green light, despite opposition.

The Duke’s Northumberland Estates sought planning permission to convert the old Willis Garage at Alnwick into outlets to be occupied by Aldi and Majestic Wine.

The South Road site had been bought by the estates from Tesco in 2012, following an unsuccessful bid by that company to develop the site as a supermarket.

Six letters of objection were lodged with Northumberland County Council from Morrisons, which owns a store in Alnwick, Alnwick and District Chamber of Trade and Alnwick Civic Society, as well as residents.

However, planning officers recommended approval and the North area committee voted in line with that advice.

Colin Barnes, director of planning and development at the estates, said: “It was acknowledged that our proposal had many attractive benefits to the town and wider community.

“This will deliver a sustainable form of development, create local employment opportunities and enhance retail choice and range within the town.

“It is important that opportunities to attract new investment into the north Northumberland area are encouraged and that Alnwick continues to grow its economic base to retain a healthy and active working population.

“A strong retail offer forms an important part of that and, after positive discussions with Northumberland County Council, we look forward to welcoming Aldi and Majestic Wine to Alnwick.”

At the same meeting, plans from pub chain Wetherspoon to develop the town’s former cinema at Corn Exchange on Bondgate Within were also approved.

The application had received five letters of objection as well as opposition from the county council’s public protection team.

However officers recommended approval and officers voted accordingly.

The committee also followed a recommendation to give planning permission to a family drinking water business’s proposal for a bottling plant on its farm near Morpeth.

As previously reported by The Journal, Marlish Water, run by Elizabeth Walton and her nephew Joe Evans on her West Marlish Farm at Hartburn, currently has to send water to Sunderland to be bottled.

They sought permission for the development which would reduce costs and allow them to apply for spring water status.

Neighbouring properties submitted seven letters of objection, highlighting scale of the development and operation, vehicle movements, noise generation, disposal of sewage and the use and creation of a bore hole.

Yet officers recommended approval and councillors voted accordingly.

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