THE TRANSFORMATION of Sandhurst’s former Waitrose has taken a big step forward after planning chiefs said yes to new proposals.

Two separate planning applications to turn a large chunk of the Yorktown Road supermarket into an Aldi food store and a smaller section into a Energie Fitness gym were approved at a council meeting earlier this week.

READ MORE: Designs reveal gym will be joining new Aldi

The layout change will mean the number of car parking spaces at the site will be reduced from 189 to 177 car parking spaces — something that had concerned councillors and residents.

Bracknell News:

One neighbour argued: “This means that parking for Aldi will be entirely insufficient and at busy times will create queues out onto Yorktown Road which will be dangerous as one side of the road is not very far from a bend.”

But councillors demanded the owners of the site produce a car park management plan as a condition for approval of the plans.

Bracknell News:

This means site managers will have to keep Bracknell Forest Council’s planning team up-to-date with on-going supervision of the car park, which includes plans for signage, entry and exit control, CCTV usage and more.

READ MORE: How Sandhurst has changed over the last few years

With this requirement secured, councillors agreed to the give the go-ahead to both applications.

Bracknell News:

Before the decision was made, other residents had raised concerns about another new gym in the area taking the business of smaller, independent and long-standing fitness centres in Sandhurst.

One local commented: “Foundation Fitness is celebrating its 20 year anniversary on this site in July 2020 and has a large and loyal membership.

“It is a family run independent business, not part of a large impersonal chain of gyms.

“Opening another gym in such close proximity is unnecessary and threatens the business of an already popular and successful business.”

However, this issue was not discussed by councillors sitting on the planning committee.

READ MORE: Plans for a Greggs in Sandhurst pushed back

The committee met virtually on Thursday, July 16.