RESIDENTS in Burnham and Highbridge have spoken of their joy after controversial plans for a new Aldi store in Highbridge were approved.

The plans were approved by Sedgemoor District Council’s development committee on May 9, and will see the popular food store head to land off of Isleport Road.

A number of residents have posted on the Weekly News’ Facebook page to express their joy at the plans being approved.

Sarah Thorne, wrote: “Brilliant news.

“I live in Burnham-on-Sea and this will be a definite positive for Highbridge.”

Andy Morgan wrote: “Very good news.”

Alice McKnight wrote: “Absolutely great news.”

Peter Rowley, wrote: “Brilliant news.”

Carol Waltman, wrote: “Fab news, can’t wait.”

The plans caused controversy in Burnham and Highbridge over the last few months with Burnham Chamber of Trade and more than 60 businesses showing opposition to the proposals.

They expressed concerns the store would take trade away from town centre businesses.

Alex Turco, from Burnham Chamber of Trade, said: “We are concerned for the future of the town centre.

“In an age where it is easy for people to buy what they want, when they want, we need to be actively supporting town centres.”

But residents were adamant they wanted the store.

A survey carried out by Aldi in January, revealed that 95 per cent of residents agreed they wanted the store to come to Highbridge and said it would be an asset to the town.

Sarah Buchanan, wrote: “All of the views from the councillors were about concerns for Burnham it’s always all about Burnham.

“This development is all about Highbridge and positive steps to bringing Highbridge into the 21st century so there is more employment, decent competition and choice.”

Sedgemoor District Council’s principle planning officer for the West encouraged the committee to approve the application saying it complied with national, regional and local planning policies and that it could as a gateway to the site for the growth of the earmarked Isleport Business Park.

The application was approved by eight votes to one.

Works to build the store are expected to start later this year.