Plans to build a second Aldi store in Burton have finally been laid to rest as a scheme to build offices and warehouses on the site was approved.

It comes as one of the town's top business leaders said everything that could be done should be done to attract people into the town centre - and not encourage them to go elsewhere.

Birmingham-based developer St Modwen Developments had planned to build a second outlet for the German supermarket giant, along with other shops, including a Starbucks coffee outlet, as part of the third and final phase of its Albion Gateway site, in Derby Road, Burton.

But when these plans were turned down, they submitted amended ones, which now means warehouses and offices will be built on the site instead of the supermarket, and they have now been approved by councillors.

Aldi and Starbucks plan to expand in to Burton retail park thrown out

Members of East Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning committee had turned down the second Aldi plan as they feared the retail plans would severely hit trade in the town centre, spark unwanted competition for businesses, and "blow holes" in the local development plan, which acts as a blueprint for building the area.

This week business leader Chris Plant, director at the Burton and District Chamber of Commerce, has welcomed news that the offices and warehouse application has been approved, saying that it would not act as direct competition to town centre retailers.

Aldi already has a store in Burton

He said: "It is the correct decision. Retailers and town centres in particular need all the support we can give them at the moment. We should be drawing people into Burton centre not giving more reasons to avoid it all together.

"We hope the Government will review business rate relief for independent retailers based in town centres, we also insist that a healthy town centre is critical to a thriving local economy.

"Our town centres give us our heart, character and employ a considerable number of people.

"We need to all make more effort to buy local to ensure their futures."

The new application also includes a builders' merchants with outside storage, the extension of two buildings to form five employment units, the erection of four blocks comprising 15 employment units along with access, car parking, a balancing pond and landscaping.

It forms part of a huge revamp of the former industrial site near the Pirelli Stadium. The Albion Gateway project also includes up to 300 homes, some of which are already under construction.

The original proposals, which have been ditched in favour of a plan for offices and warehouses

The latest plan applies to a 87,600 sq ft site, which will comprise several industrial and trade units, ranging from 2,500 sq ft up to 5,775 sq ft in size, with the option to combine units for larger companies seeking up to 20,000 sq ft of space.

Phases one and two of the Gateway plan comprised more than 50,000 sq ft which was developed in 2016 and all the units were either sold or leased shortly after completion, with occupiers including Tool Station, Eurocell and A-Plant.

The third stage of the scheme already has 13,000 sq ft of space pre-let to MKM Building Supplies and 9,000 sq ft has been pre-sold to Burton-based Door and Joinery Solutions, signalling a healthy interest in the site well ahead of the start of construction, said a St Modwen spokesman.

Work on the final phase will begin in July, with the units expected to be completed in early 2019.

Rob Richardson, senior development manager at St Modwen, said: "We are pleased to have now secured consent for our final phase of development at Albion Gateway, which is the last piece of the jigsaw in the regeneration of part of the wider Pirelli site.

“The great success of our initial phase of units proves there is a clear need for this size of versatile space in Burton.

"To have secured the commitment of two well established trade occupiers prior to construction starting is testament to this.”