Plans for a highly anticipated Aldi store in Macduff will go before councillors yet again next week, where they could be given the final stamp of approval.
Shoppers eager to see the discount chain arrive in the town might be experiencing some deja vu at the news…
The Aldi had been confirmed last year, but a Tesco lawsuit left it in tatters.
A renewed proposal was due to be given the go-ahead at a meeting of the Banff and Buchan area committee in September.
It was taken off the table due to a last minute objector, the identity of which has still not been revealed.
Tesco, which stands to lose millions if a rival Aldi is built, has not replied to any Press and Journal emails asking if the company had any involvement.
Following that meeting, Aberdeenshire Council drafted in experts to assess the impact Aldi would have on other supermarkets in the area…
And the results have now been made public days ahead of the next talks.
What did the retail survey reveal?
In its retail impact assessment, Roderick MacLean Associates estimated that the new Macduff shop could take £1.2 million of annual trade from Tesco in Banff, and a further £1 million from its Turriff store.
Meanwhile the Co-op in Banff could lose out on £600,000 per year.
However, the firm concluded the new Aldi store should be given the go-ahead due to a “retail deficiency” in the area.
The report said: “There is limited choice and quality of food shopping, as evidence in both the council’s town centre health checks and Aldi consultation survey indicates.”
It also noted that customers have to travel further afield to carry out their shopping and said the Aldi food store would provide an “opportunity to reduce lengthy travel times”.
Why has the Macduff Aldi plan taken so long?
The discount retailer had been given the green light to build the store on Duff Street last year but the plans came tumbling down after rivals Tesco launched a legal challenge.
After the planning approval was quashed by the Court of Session, Aldi went back to the drawing board in a bid to see its Macduff plan come to fruition.
Bosses came up with a revived proposal, involving a new masterplan along with space for 22 homes and a potential future GP practice.
This was approved back in June, paving the way for the long-awaited supermarket.
A public consultation held earlier this year revealed that Macduff residents travel as far as Elgin, Inverurie and Peterhead to do their weekly shop.
More than 700 people took part in the process, with around 98% in support of Aldi’s plan.
Councillors will consider the application on Tuesday.