Driffield News

Aldi confirms interest in former Cattle Market site

Supermarket chain Aldi has exclusively revealed to the Driffield & Wolds Weekly that it is looking to open a new store in the town at the former Cattle Market site.

There has been widespread speculation over recent years that Aldi has been looking for a site in Driffield to open one of its new stores, however the supermarket giant has never committed to a specific location until now.

After engineers were seen carrying out drilling works at Eastgate car park last week, an interested resident asked why the works were taking place and was told it was for an Aldi supermarket to be built on the site.

Our plans are at an early stage and we look forward to consulting with residents across the town later this year.

aldi spokesperson

The Wolds Weekly made various enquiries and it was confirmed that a new food store and car parking for visitors was being explored at the site.

A spokesperson for Aldi said: “Aldi can confirm that we are looking at options to bring a new food store to Driffield and are exploring how this can be delivered at the former Cattle Market alongside new car parking for visitors to the town centre.

“Our plans are at an early stage and we look forward to consulting with residents across the town later this year.”

Although no timescale has been given for work to begin on the development, it is unlikely to start before next year.

Last October, Aldi confirmed to the Wolds Weekly that they were still looking for a location for a new store in Driffield.

As reported, the former Cattle Market site on Eastgate North, which has been disused since the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 forced it to close, was bought by London-based developer, Gatsby Property, in 2018.

Later that year, the site was cleared, however, since then, no further development has taken place at the site and no planning permission has been sought for the land.

Before Gatsby Property acquired the site, two applications for a food store had been submitted for the Cattle Market site – one in 2008 which was refused and another in 2014, which was subsequently withdrawn in January 2017.

Previously, concerns have been raised about access to serve a supermarket at the site and the fear over the loss of the existing free car parking provision at the Eastgate car park.

Eastgate car park, which is owned by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, is currently used as a valuable free car park for shoppers and visitors to the town.

In July 2020, the council agreed for the land at Eastgate to be declared as surplus to the requirements of the council.

This would enable it to be sold, subject to a proposed land exchange for a replacement car park to be provided and transferred to the council.

The land exchange was facilitated to allow the privately-owned former Cattle Market site to be developed on the basis that in return for the sale of the council land, a replacement car park accessed off Exchange Street would be provided and transferred to the council.

It is understood that Gatsby Property also purchased the former Wooden House on Exchange Street, which would enable access to the site.

Retaining free parking in the town is the main concern of Driffield Town Council, which has committed to ‘work tirelessly’ to ensure it is protected.

Claire Binnington, Driffield town clerk, said: “We have expected for some time that a development would eventually materialise at the former Cattle Market site, however, the town council’s overriding concern is the retention of the free car parking spaces which are absolutely vital if our market town is to survive and move forward.

“Convenient, easily accessible, free car parking is literally the lifeblood of any town and it is imperative that the provision of free parking is retained.

“We know that ERYC councillors are also prioritising this and the town council, with the Town Centre Steering Group, will work tirelessly to ensure our free parking is protected in perpetuity.

“On another note, any parking provision provided in hand with a supermarket development, should in our opinion come with a covenant, that parking should be available for supermarket users for a period of three hours minimum and not then be allowed to reduce to two in future years, as has occurred at Tesco and Lidl.”

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