Christmas came early for Macduff this week when plans for a new Aldi were finally approved.
And the German discount retailer has told us they hope to have the supermarket up and running by the start of 2025.
Bosses say their new store, which hundreds of locals agree is badly needed, will bring dozens of jobs to the community.
Folk from Macduff, Banff and various neighbouring towns and villages are already looking forward to bagging some bargains.
After facing many hurdles to reach the milestone this week, an Aldi spokesman confirmed the chain “remains committed” to opening on Duff Street.
He added: “We continue to be overwhelmed by the support from the local community and we hope to be on site delivering the new store as soon as possible.”
But it has rarely been plain sailing for the disputed development, and the next two months could yet see the scheme delayed again…
What could scupper Macduff Aldi 2025 opening hopes?
The plans were first approved in 2022, but later fell apart when Tesco challenged Aberdeenshire Council’s decision in court.
Months later, when revised proposals were set to be approved in September, a fresh objection from a mystery source threatened to waylay them once again.
This time, the council commissioned independent experts to conduct a study on how it would affect neighbouring businesses before eventually sealing the plans on Tuesday.
However, supporters have been urged not to get the champagne out quite yet.
‘Court of Session could quash decision’
Other retail rivals have so far done their best to banjax the new shop.
Under Scottish planning rules, opponents would have six weeks to submit an appeal to the Court of Session.
Guidance states: “Parties may seek an appeal to the Court of Session within six weeks of the final decision.
“The Court of Session cannot change a decision but it can quash the decision.”
That’s what happened last time, with the plans entangled in a web of red tape as they had to be reconsidered by the council.
Do you think the Macduff Aldi will meet its 2025 opening date as hoped? Let us know in our comments section below
After Tesco legal eagles swooped on a loophole, Aberdeenshire Council was forced to admit defeat – leading to the permission they granted being quashed.
Read more about the crunch meeting here.
The authority has refused to divulge the details to the Press and Journal, and Tesco has not replied to emails asking if the firm is behind the recent hold-up.