Retail giant Aldi has been urged to look elsewhere for a new store site after a second planning application for a new Great Barr branch was rejected.
The company was told that its plans for the site next to the Asda store on Queslett Road would add to the already bad traffic in the area and lead to the loss of woodland.
Birmingham’s planning committee voted unanimously to reject the store plan for Old Horns Crescent on the edge of the Queslett Nature Reserve.
An Aldi spokesman said that the firms existing stores at Scott Arms, Kingstanding and New Oscott are “over trading” and they need another branch in the area.
He argued that they would take out 64 ‘modest quality’ trees and replace them with 44 high quality ones and pointed out the site was not always wooded and had in fact been a former mineral extraction and waste disposal depot.
He added that their experts had shown the “Aldi would not exacerbate the existing traffic problems.”
Aldi had offered compensation for the loss of trees and impact on the neighbouring nature reserve.
But committee members were far from convinced.
Cllr Peter Douglas Osborn (Con, Weoley) said that although it had been a landfill site in the past it was now an asset to the city. He said: “Those trees have turned a negative contaminated site into a positive. It’s a green lung for the city dealing with pollution.”
His colleague cllr Fiona Williams (Lab, Hodge Hill) said: “Mature trees are much better at absorbing nitrogen dioxide. These green spaces are needed.”
On the traffic issues cllr Bob Beauchamp (Con, Erdington) said that the store would be add to the problems on an already very busy road and the congested Old Horns roundabout.
All 11 committee members voted to reject the plan. It was an amended version of a plan withdrawn last year following a damning report by council officers.
Residents had earlier spoke out against the scheme. Robert Wild said: “We hope this will be Aldi’s final attempt to gain permission for this site.”
While Brenda Wilson of the Friends of Queslett Nature Reserve highlighted the impact on wild birds, bats and hedgehogs.