Blow to Chatteris shoppers as Aldi says it won’t open new store until 2016 but date may be ‘subject to change’

Aldi not likely to open until 2016 Picture: Steve Williams.

Aldi not likely to open until 2016 Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Aldi is not likely to open in Chatteris until at least 2016 leaving the town without a main supermarket for a year which has been called a “disgrace” and a “catastrophe” for people without access to a car.

An email from the store’s customer service team has confirmed that: “Our new store in Chatteris is scheduled to open in early 2016, however this is subject to change.”

Lauren Barrett, of the customer service team, added: “We would not provide transport to the public to use other supermarkets in the meantime.”

People took to the pages of Facebook to query why Aldi would say they are going to take over the empty Co-op site but then do nothing for a year.

One person wrote: “Its not logical for a supermarket like Aldi to take on rent or purchase a store and not trade from it. Their business plan is based on not wasting money. If they are not opening for a year there is something deeper behind it. Working the industry I know it doesn’t take a year to refit a store.”

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Another person wrote: “It’s a joke” while another commented: “We have an empty Tesco that no-one wanted anyway and now no supermarket all together.”

Another added: “We have nothing decent here, so what if there’s a Tesco and Sainsburys in March, we don’t always want to travel.”

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County councillor Sandra Rylance said: “There is nowhere to do a main shop. If you don’t have access to a car in the Fens it is impossible to get about easily. Being without a main supermarket is catastrophic.”

UKIP have laid on a bus every Sunday until the problem is resolved.

Leaving New Road at noon it then goes to the garage, the end of Park street, Wood Street, the police station, Grove House and The Ship formerly the Walk the Dog pub.

It takes shoppers to Ramsey for either the Co-op or Tesco.

The first week it attracted eight shoppers to the 15-seater bus, Mrs Rylance said.

The supermarket issue is likely to be discussed at the next Chatteris Town Council meeting which is on March 3 at 7pm. The first 15 minutes of the meeting is classed as an open forum where members of the public can speak.

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