05:20PM, Tuesday 20 April 2021
New Aldi store site, Dedworth Road, Windsor.
Aldi has ‘no intention’ for its new Dedworth Road store to remain open until midnight each day despite applying for late-night licensing conditions.
The budget supermarket chain is seeking a premises licence to trade from 6am until midnight Monday to Sunday at its new shop on the former Wyevale Garden Centre.
This led to objections from nearby residents who feared the availability of early and late-night alcohol could fuel anti-social behaviour in the area.
Members of Windsor and Maidenhead’s licensing panel sub-committee met today to discuss the application.
Lisa Gilligan, Aldi’s designated premises supervisor, told the meeting the supermarket has only applied for extended licensing hours to give the company flexibility in the event of changes to planning conditions or Sunday trading laws.
She said: “What the pandemic has taught the business is that if nothing else there is a commercial and public need to be as flexible as possible and over the last 12 months the business did trade at longer hours, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.
“It also opened its stores to key workers at 7am and these will have been stores that prior to the pandemic opened at 8am but licensing permitted 7am.
“Having that extended licensing in place allowed the business to immediately changed their opening hours at some stores which proved vital and incredibly popular with shoppers.”
She added: “We can categorically say there is no intention whatsoever from my client to trade outside the lawful permitted hours."
The meeting heard how the new supermarket’s opening hours are expected to be 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sundays.
Pat Morrish, a nearby resident, said: “This free availability of cut-price liquor from potentially 6am to midnight will only fuel those with drinking and substance abuse issues and will inevitably lead to increased crime and anti-social behaviour in what is essentially a quiet residential area.
“My concern is the possible early-morning, late-night availability of cheap alcohol will only escalate an already substantial problem.”
Aldi representatives said all staff are trained in ‘Challenge 25’ over the sale of alcohol and added the longer licensing conditions would provide ‘maximum operational flexibility’.
A decision on whether to grant the store a premises licence is expected to be made by April 27.
The candidates standing in the upcoming Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner election have outlined their priorities for policing in the region.