Aldi has taken another step towards securing permission for a new Birmingham store after offering £145,000 compensation for building on green land.
The German discount giant has been locked in a long-running battle over its controversial plans for a store next to the Asda Queslett store in Great Barr.
The store was to be built on the edge of the Queslett Nature Reserve, which has protected status, leading to the loss of some green space and trees.
Plans have divided locals with ten letters of support for a new store completely outweighed by 35 objection letters and a 273 name petition against.
Aldi already has a major store a mile away at the Scott Arms junction .
The City Council listed four legal reasons for refusal - loss of green space, loss of trees, poor design and increase in traffic - but is now set to give way on two according to a report to this week’s planning committee.
The report states that Aldi has negotiated an agreement to pay £145,430 to compensate for the loss of the green space. It would be used to improve or add to green space nearby.
Aldi has also submitted further analysis of traffic conditions and agreed to pay for new road signs, cycle storage, pedestrian crossings and other road improvements to lessen the impact on traffic.
And means that planning lawyers acting for the city council no longer believe they can defend a refusal based on loss of green space or impact on traffic.
The council’s planning committee will be asked to agree this on Thursday, April 26.
The report says that they still intend to fight Aldi over the loss of about 60 trees - which help tackle pollution and are an attractive feature on the roadside.
They will also challenge over the design - which has been criticised for being turned away from the busy Queslett Road with a car park to the rear.
Council planners concluded last year that rather than facing the road and being welcoming to pedestrians the proposed design presents ‘largely blank canvass to the street’ and is car focused.
It appears that with fewer differences between Aldi and the city council that the store is inching nearer to getting the green light being built.