Supermarket wars fear: Are too many being given the go-ahead in Sheffield?

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Planners have backed controversial proposals for a new Aldi supermarket in Sheffield, amid claims the city’s store wars are spiralling out of control.

Sheffield Council has received 126 letters from residents objecting to proposals for a new store on the site of the long-standing Rollem factory at the corner of The Common and Mill Road, Ecclesfield.

Under the plans, Rollem, an engineering firm, would relocate, but would stay in the area.

Neighbours have asked why another supermarket is needed when there are already a Morrisons, a Co-op, a Tesco and two Asdas within a few miles.

They have also complained about the prospect of extra traffic, noise, air pollution and the effect on existing shops.

Asda, which last week opened a superstore at the Chaucer District Centre in Parson Cross, has objected, claiming the development would breach guidelines designed to protect established shopping centres.

One resident wrote objecting to the plans: “This is absolutely not necessary - the volume of traffic is already nightmare.

“With Morrisons, Asda and Tesco within walking distance I really feel this land could be put to better use.”

Another said: “There is a limit to the number of retail outlets that can survive in a small village.

“There is a Morrison’s supermarket within a five-minute walk, an Asda supermarket and a Tesco presence in nearby Chapeltown, and another Asda in Parson Cross. In addition there is the Co-operative on High Street.

“It must be asked just how many retail outlets are to be crammed into one small, semi-rural village?”

A further 56 residents wrote directly to the applicants to oppose the plans.

The council has received 50 letters in support of the application, and Aldi has had another 60, welcoming the prospect of a budget supermarket offering more choice and competition.

Officers have recommended councillors approve the plans when they meet tomorrow.

A report says the new store’s turnover would be diverted mainly from Morrisons at Ecclesfield and the Asda at Chapeltown, which are described as ‘overtrading’.

It also says fears over the impact on the new Asda at Parson Cross are unfounded because of the distance between the sites and the fact the Aldi would be six times smaller.