Could snooker club demolition in Milton Keynes clear the way for a new Aldi planning application?

Planners have given supermarket operators Aldi approval to demolish a snooker club on the outskirts of Wolverton.

The site of the Herald Snooker Club, in Mcconnell Drive, was the subject of a hotly contested planning battle in 2019 when an application to build a supermarket there was rejected by just one vote.

Snooker club customer “Jay” from Bradville lodged an objection to the demolition of the club. He asked for his surname not to be used.

He said the club had a “good atmosphere” for his twice a week visits to the base for 15 snooker tables.

A user of the club for 10 years he told planners before they made their most recent decision: “This is absolutely ridiculous.

“If this gets approved it’s taking away a massive social aspect of not only Wolverton but Milton Keynes as one of only two places to play snooker in the town of MK.”

He also did not see the point of a store on the site as there is a “Lidl two minutes up the road” and Aldis already in Stantonbury and Bradwell Common.

A report published on Milton Keynes Council’s website confirmed that the demolition did not need to go through the more formal planning process.

But the council has the opportunity to regulate the details of the demolition to “minimise the impact of that activity on the immediate environment.”

Aldi told the council when it applied for approval that the demolition needs to happen to “prevent anti-social behaviour, unwanted access and to provide a cleared site.”

It is to be protected “ahead of a future planning application”.

Aldi and its planning agents have been approached for comment on whether they intend to again apply for planning permission to build a new supermarket.

At the time of going to press there had been no response. 

A previous application to build a supermarket on the snooker club site was rejected by the council’s development control committee in April 2019 by five votes to four.

Opponents at the time said it would put the redevelopment of the Agora site in the town centre at risk and take money out of the town centre.

But supporters of the scheme believed the new store would complement the centre and be a benefit to Bancroft, Stacey Bushes, and Blue Bridge.