Supermarket chain Aldi's plans for a new store on the edge of a city nature reserve have been turned down by a Government inspector.

Planning inspector Hayden Baugh-Jones ruled that the proposed store on Old Horns Crescent, Great Barr would cause harm to the area - including the Queslett Nature Reserve.

He concluded: "Whilst the proposal would provide a number of benefits, these would not, either singly or collectively, outweigh the clear identified harm to the area’s character and appearance through the unacceptable design of the development and the loss of protected trees.

"Consequently, the appeal does not succeed."

He was particularly concerned about the loss of trees which he said make "a positive contribution to the local environment".

Protesters and members of the Friends of Queslett Nature Reserve outside the site in Old Horns Crescent last week
Protesters and members of the Friends of Queslett Nature Reserve outside the site in Old Horns Crescent last week

Aldi had launched the appeal after the city council's planning committee rejected the application in February 2017.

The plan included the chopping down of 64 mature trees as well as the loss of some open space for which the firm offered some investment in the Nature Reserve and some replacement trees to compensate.

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As well as defending the trees, Mr Baugh-Jones agreed with the council that the store was poorly designed, with it's back facing the main Queslett Road dual carriageway.

His decision follows a public inquiry at the start of May and means Aldi has to go back to the drawing board or seek a new site.

Counclllor Keith Linnecor (Lab, Oscott) said: "I regret that it had to come to this and Aldi could not compromise to address the concerns of local wildlife enthusiasts.

"Hopefully now a better development for the site which works with the nature of the area will come forward.

"I would suggest that Aldi might want to look for a more suitable site elsewhere in the area, perhaps the Kingstanding shopping precinct."

Aldi have tweaked their plans to include more greenery along Queslett Road
Aldi have tweaked their plans to include more greenery along Queslett Road

Brenda Wilson of the Friends of Queslett Nature Reserve welcomed the decision and praised the inspector for his handling of the inquiry.

"I very much hope that this is the last time we have to have any dealings with Aldi wanting to build in Old Horns Crescent.

The Land next to The Queslett Asda
The Land next to The Queslett Asda

"I wish them every success in find a more suitable site to build their store that doesn't`t have a negative impact on the environment."

Aldi has been approached for a comment.