A NEW supermarket name has entered the frame at Midhurst with speculation Aldi wants to open a store in the town.
Midhurst’s West Sussex county councillor Gordon McAra told town councillors he had heard from ‘a very good source’ Aldi was bidding to open a new store at the current Kavanagh Budgen’s site.
“It is possibly a done deal,” he said.
But Aldi has declined to comment on the speculation and earlier this summer Noel Kavanagh owner of the Midhurst Budgens store denied the rumours his store was up for sale.
Kavanagh Budgen’s sold its Billingshurst store in March to Sainsburys.
The store closed so that internal works could be carried out by the new owner.
The new Sainsburys is due to open at 7am tomorrow, Thursday, August 6.
In the mean time Midhurst still awaits a planning application from Waitrose after the store’s public exhibition in January of proposals for a store on the site of the former Grange, which was bulldozed last year.
At the exhibition Waitrose representatives and their developers Kimberley Developments were upbeat about a timetable for their new store.
They said they hoped to submit a planning application to the South Downs National Park Authority in the spring and once permission was granted start building in the autumn with the intention of opening towards the end of next year.
But with the spring date already missed and autumn approaching, it now appears that timetable has been scrapped with Waitrose admitting last month it would not like to speculate on timings ‘at this stage’.
Now a spokesman for the supermarket has told the Observer: “We remain keen to bring Waitrose to Midhurst and discussions with the developer and the council are ongoing ahead of submitting an application as soon as we are able.”
Cllr McAra told town councillors supermarkets across the country were reassessing store space and locations: “Waitrose is not immune and is probably trying to recast its plans and discussions are ongoing.”
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