Aldi has been dealt a blow in its plans to open a store at Winnersh after councillors voted to refuse it ahead of an inquiry. 

Councillors at Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee’s June 12 meeting voted to refuse the application, which it had previously approved, due to the changed position of the Environment Agency on flooding.

The EA’s rethink followed the application being called in by the Secretary of State. The agency, in its submission to the inquiry, changed its position on what is called the ‘climate change allowance’, prompting WBC to change its advice.

Not all councillors were convinced by the decision.

Cllr Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey said: “I’ve lived in Winnersh for 17 years and that site has never flooded in 17 years. There are two office buildings at the end of that site and neither of them has flooded either.”

Cllr Wayne Smith said the committee should never have been put in the position it found itself.

He added: “I do think when we get these sites in the future we need to have a full assessment of the drainage situation because we would not be here if we had had that in the first place.”

The inquiry is due to take place in August.

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