Is Aldi about to build on Carr Mill grot spot?

Wasteland in between East Lancs Road and Laffak Road, St Helens. Residents believe this is a proposed site for a new Aldi supermarket
Wasteland in between East Lancs Road and Laffak Road, St Helens. Residents believe this is a proposed site for a new Aldi supermarket

Mystery surrounds the future of plans to transform a notorious grot spot by building a new supermarket and houses.

Claims have been made that Aldi had gained planning permission for the neglected patch of land on the south side of the East Lancs Road at Carr Mill.

Concerns were then raised among local residents that one of the landowners involved was refusing to accept the valuation he had been offered by developers.

However, St Helens Council has now stated that no planning applications have even been submitted to develop the site between Carr Mill Road and Laffak Road.

The budget supermarket chain has also refused to confirm or deny any interest in the site, saying only that it was looking at a number of options for opening a new supermarket in St Helens.

The confusion means residents who have been desperately hoping the land will be made more attractive look set to wait a while longer yet.

A resident, who asked not to be identified, told the St Helens Reporter developers had agreed a figure with the owner of around a third of the site but there was a chance the whole deal could fall through due to a dispute over land valuation with another party.

However, the authorities now appear to have all but confirmed this is not the case, saying the land may actually end up as a new railway station but this is still at a very early stage.

A spokesman for St Helens Council said: “No planning applications have been submitted for this site and we are not aware of any interest in it.

“However we are currently working with Merseytravel on a feasibility study for a station on part of this land.”

An Aldi spokesman said: “We are looking at a number of locations in the area so can’t comment on any specific locations at present.”

Development of the site, which is also bordered by the main route between Manchester and Liverpool and a railway line, would certainly prove popular with local residents.

A brief prepared by St Helens Council in 2009 found 90 per cent of those questioned were in favour of work being done on the site , with the most popular redevelopment options being a new train station, improvements to Laffak Road, the creation of new open space and house building.

The local authority has also officially designated the site a grot spot and considers it to be having a negative impact on St Helens.

The council’s preferred option for transforming the site was a mixed development involving new homes, a railway station and business use.