Blunder over Aldi could cost Mansfield council £35,000, it is claimed

The site of the new Aldi store to be built on land  at Oakleaf Close, Mansfield.
The site of the new Aldi store to be built on land at Oakleaf Close, Mansfield.

Mansfield District Council’s doomed decision to grant permission for an Aldi store could cost them at least £35,000, it has been claimed.

A top judge at London’s High Court recently ruled that the planning committee had not considered the impact of building the discount supermarket on the Sherwood Oaks Business Park, near the Rainworth by-pass.

The case was brought by Aldergate Properties Ltd, a company which has permission to create retail space in Mansfield town centre.

They put their concerns to the council saying a new Aldi could scupper investment in the town centre, but say they were simply ignored.

Mansfield District Council will be forced to pick up the bill for Aldergate’s legal costs of £35,000, and that is before they count their own legal costs.

A spokesman for Aldergate said: “The committee chairman refused to allow us to speak at the committee meeting and court was the only way that we could resolve this.

“There is a fundamental flaw in the attitude of the council to the town centre.

“Government policy directs retail space to town centres otherwise towns die. We are at a loss as to why Mansfield couldn’t accept that.

“It’s common sense that the number of visitors to the town would be reduced and thus the town’s market and vitality is seriously affected .

“There’s no shortage of hot air coming out of the council about how they are turning Mansfield around but 
their deeds don’t match the words.

“It is unforgivable that we have had to go to this expense when the council should have been doing their job properly.”

Portfolio holder for regeneration on Mansfield District Council, Councillor Dave Saunders said: “I am disappointed with the court decision and what it will mean for this part of Mansfield, including the loss of an opportunity to create jobs.

“The figure of £35,000 is a ceiling on costs that was imposed by the judge and not the actual costs involved.

“The council is awaiting details of the actual costs and will consider those once submitted.

“Councillors, when making the decision regarding Aldi, were mindful of the lack of other suitable sites for this store and it was also taken against the background of other planning appeal decisions that we were required to take into account.”