New discount supermarket planned for Preston Docks - this is everything we know so far

A new discount supermarket is planned for Preston Docks at the site of the current DFS store in Mariner's Way.
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Planning documents submitted to Preston City Council reveal plans for a new supermarket at the unit currently occupied by the sofa and furniture retailer.

The planning application, registered on June 26, 2020, proposes that DFS will then move into the smaller vacant unit next door, formerly home to Mothercare.

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The planning documents state: "With the changing retail market and given current anticipated demand by a discount food retailer for further representation in west Preston, the intention is to facilitate future re-occupation of Unit 1 (DFS) by a discounter.

The new discount food retailer will takeover the DFS unit in Mariner's Way, Preston, with DFS moving into the former Mothercare unit next door. Pic: GoogleThe new discount food retailer will takeover the DFS unit in Mariner's Way, Preston, with DFS moving into the former Mothercare unit next door. Pic: Google
The new discount food retailer will takeover the DFS unit in Mariner's Way, Preston, with DFS moving into the former Mothercare unit next door. Pic: Google

"The proposed development therefore seeks planning permission for minor works to enable the DFS relocation into Unit 2 (formerly Mothercare) and occupation of Unit 1 by a discount food retailer."

The development will see the car park altered to provide 'better circulation' for shoppers, with the addition of six electric vehicle charging spaces outside the main customer entrances to the discount foodstore and the relocated DFS.

The initial planning statement says the discount food retailer usually provides around 40 new jobs.

But which supermarket will it be?

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With Lidl already having a store less than a mile away in Strand Road, just 5-minutes by car, many people would suggest Aldi and Food Warehouse are more likely choices.

The planning documents are not giving too much away as to which 'discount food retailer' will take over the site, but there are some clues as to the possible identity of the supermarket.

New dark grey aluminium cladding and grey-painted windows, as well as coin-operated trolleys and separate doors for its entrance and exit are just some of those clues.

The planning statement says "new aluminium vertical dark grey cladding" will be added to the front of the store, and the entrance will be relocated to the left-hand corner.

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In regards to the shopping trolley bay, it says: "Given the nature of the discount food business model, these are all stored in one location by the customer entrance and typically operate a coin release system."

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These are the 12 areas in Lancashire where Aldi wants to open new stores

Just last week, Aldi announced that it was on the lookout for new store locations across Lancashire, as it seeks to reach 1,200 stores nationwide by 2025.

It said it had identified 12 new locations where it is looking for town-centre or edge-of-centre sites that might be suitable for development.

It said each site should be around 1.5 acres and able to accommodate a 20,000 sq ft store with around 100 parking spaces, "ideally on a prominent main road and with good visibility and access".

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Among those 12 locations were Preston and 'west' Preston. According to the plans, the DFS unit is currently 20,000 sq ft.

A number of discount retailers, including Aldi, Lidl and Food Warehouse have been approached for comment.