PLANS for a new Aldi store and 128 homes in a “deprived” area of Southampton are set to be refused next week, after council officers blasted the scheme.

The proposals for the discount chain, which would see it take over the site next to the former East Point Centre, creating up to 40 jobs, were slammed by planners for its a poor layout, unsafe access, and insufficient landscaping.

Officers add that the neighbouring application, for the Bursledon Road residential scheme, does not propose enough affordable housing.

The site include 21 houses (20 three-bed and one four-bed), and 107 flats (29 one-bed and 78 two-bed).

However, applicant JT Consultancy Limited has proposed several ‘Rent to Buy’ homes on the plot instead, which provides subsidised rent for the new home, before giving the tenant the option – within five years – to either buy or part-buy the home. But the council says this “fails to meet identified affordable housing need in Southampton”.


The former Hightown Secondary School, which closed in the 1980s, will be demolished to make way for the homes. Case officer Andrew Gregory noted: “The principle of residential redevelopment is supported. “However the merits of the scheme do not outweigh the concerns regarding access, provision of affordable housing, and loss of the existing trees to the northern boundary.”

Regarding the Aldi scheme, he added: “The [council has] asked the applicant [Aldi] to withdraw this application. It has offered to work with [the applicant] to achieve a revised scheme which achieves a better balance in terms of jobs/retail offer, open space provision, replacement landscaping and achieves an access design that addresses concerns regarding the proposed right turn exit onto Bursledon Road.”


Locals have also given their views on the two proposed schemes, with many in support of the planned Aldi store. Trixie Neilson, of Warburton Road, said: “This is something that has been needed for a long time. [It will mean that] the elderly and young families at this end of the estate will be able to walk there.”

Rachael Miles, of Hightown Towers, said: “What a wonderful idea to have a really good shop planned up this end for the community. [It will mean] more jobs coming to the estate and bringing money to this deprived area.


“I for one am looking forward to having it here.”

However, she added: “Traffic lights will have to be re-done because of the volume of traffic, [but] overall I am 100 per cent for it. All I ask is that some means of keeping the noise down at night as there are many OAP living close by.” Nevertheless, objections were raised to the proposed Starbucks drive-thru coffee shop which is planned to be located in the car park of the Aldi site.

Michael Allott, of the HighPoint Venue – the former EastPoint Centre, said: “My objection in relation to the drive-thru coffee shop is based on the additional flow of traffic that could go onto the estate but that will also cause additional congestion to an already busy road.

“Currently there is a coffee shop open for the local community at Highpoint, which is approximately 10 metres from the proposed Starbucks. This coffee shop is operated by a non-for-profit registered charity who use any profits made to deliver community project for the benefit of Thornhill residents. This coffee shop employs local Thornhill residents who’s employment may be a risk.

“By allowing a multi-national company to build and operate a coffee shop it could, and probably would, have a negative effect on the local community.”

He added: “As I have said I welcome the supermarket on the site however I cannot support the coffee shop proposal on the grounds that I have given in the submission.”

As reported, plans for the site, previously home to the East Point education centre, had been discussed for several years.

The site was once touted as the future home of Itchen College, but the proposals were scrapped.

Part of the site was later developed into the new East Point Community Centre, which opened in 2011.

But the £10 million building was shut in 2014 after it was put into administration. It was then saved, and renamed High Point Centre in 2014.


Last year, plans were approved to turn the remaining part of the site into a new 114 flat complex, along with 36 family homes. But, despite developers gaining permission, the development never went ahead.

Now Aldi plans to construct a “new, contemporary, sustainable store”, in the hope of “maximising the potential of this underused site.”

Regarding the site, an Aldi spokesperson previously said: “We know that many local residents are travelling some distance to enjoy the ALDI offer, opening this store would make it even easier for people to shop and save in their local area.

“This multi-million pound investment would provide an enjoyable shopping destination in a high-quality building. “Aldi’s opening would also create up to 40 new jobs, we would actively seek to recruit people from the local area to fill these positions.”

If approved, it will be Aldi’s second store in the city, with the German retailer already having a store on Bevois Valley Road. The new supermarket will also be within a mile of retail rival Lidl’s nearest store, located at Antelope Park, also on Bursledon Road. The decision will be made at the city council’s Planning and Right of Way meeting tomorrow. in the Civic Centre from 6pm.