Residents have come out in support of the development of a new supermarket in Douglas.
Plans for a new Aldi store on Tom Johnstone Road could be in the pipeline – and at a public consultation on Monday, residents gave the project a big thumbs-up.
The event, at Douglas and Mid Craigie church hall, was the second of two public consultations, with the first held last Wednesday.
If planning permission is granted, the new store will create 35 full-time positions from Aldi’s apprenticeship scheme through to store manager level.
Salaries will begin at £9.10 per hour with the store manager starting on a salary of more than £45,000.
Aldi is proposing to create an additional 10,000 square feet of employment space comprising of industrial units.
Although they are yet to find someone to occupy the space, the supermarket chain expects it to create up to a further 24 jobs.
News of potential employment will be welcome in the area following redundancies at Michelin, as well as the collapse of building firms McGill and Land and Building Services.
The proposed site of the development lies on the same road as Dundee’s only Sainsbury’s supermarket.
If the planning process is successful, Aldi hopes to open its fourth store in the city in 2021.
Currently, the company has two trading supermarkets – on the Arbroath Road and in the Stack Leisure Park.
A third Aldi store is under construction in Myrekirk and is expected to open this summer.
Asked why they were planning a fourth store for the city, Philip Johnston – property director of Aldi in Scotland – said: “The east end of Dundee is a growing area and it’s one that doesn’t have a lot of options.
“Most of the people who want to go out and shop in the area have to go to Sainsbury’s and we want to give them a little bit of choice.”
Calum Ross, Aldi area manager for stores in Dundee, believes the new store is needed for people in the east end.
He said “This new store would allow us to bridge the gap between the distances people have to travel to fulfil their shopping needs and give them more choice.”
Mr Ross insisted he had no issue with Sainsbury’s being based so close by, adding: “It’s always good to have competition and will set the standard for both stores. If anything, it will make them up their game and their offering for customers.”
The Tele spoke to various residents who believe the new store will bring a welcome boost to the area just when it needs it.
Brian Parris, 49, a volunteer from Douglas, said: “This store would bring local jobs that we need in this part of the city.”
Martha Lawson, also from Douglas, said she would use the store if there were good public transport connections. She added: “There used to be a good bus connection from Sainsbury’s to Douglas which made getting heavy bags of shopping home much easier. We’re neglected at this end of Dundee.
“A new Aldi store would be good competition for Sainsbury’s as well as providing jobs for local people.”
Irene Parris, 71, who is retired, said: “I think the new store is a good idea. There’s nothing like that in this end of town which caters to the large housing estates in the area.”
Aldi plan to submit its proposals for the store to the Dundee City Council planning committee later this month.
A decision on the store is expected in March.