Darren Ennis
Darren Ennis

Plans for a new supermarket in Burntwood have been criticised by a prospective councillor.

German chain Aldi is looking to develop a site as part of the revamped town centre.

However, independent Lichfield District Council candidate Darren Ennis has claimed a new supermarket is an amenity residents “need least”.

And he warned that Aldi’s arrival could deal a major blow to smaller local shops.

Darren Ennis

He said:

“I am utterly confused on why there are plans for another supermarket. We have more then enough supermarkets in Burntwood, in fact it’s the thing we need least. From the proposed Aldi site you have Tesco, Cool Trader, Morrison’s, Spar and Somerfield within a mile. This doesn’t account for the small local shops which this will take business away from.

“Although the area does need developing, that should mean modernising the local shopping areas we have and supporting our local businesses. What we need in this area are more entertainment amenities. Why not put a cinema there, a bowling alley, a theatre? Burntwood is lacking in the entertainment department and it would be nice to have somewhere to go where we can walk with our children without having to travel miles out of the area.

“Maybe when these plans come through, the council will take note of the facts to consider what we need as a community, and act accordingly.”

However, the supermarket giant believes its arrival would be “highly attractive” to Burntwood residents.

Writing as part of a consultation into the future of the region, a spokesperson for the company said:

“An Aldi facility would be a welcome addition to the town centre shopping environment. In addition, the nature of the proposed retailer with its unique offer of own label, high quality low priced goods across the range, is highly attractive to members of the local community on comparatively low incomes, and whose primary concern is value for money.

“The improved retail offer which would be achieved at Burntwood town centre from the Aldi store would ensure that the centre is a more viable retail destination as a result of the proposals.”

Darren Ennis is standing in the Chasetown ward in the Lichfield District Council election. Other candidates are:

  • Marilyn Bamborough (Conservative)
  • Barry Diggle (Conservative)
  • Stephen Taylor (Labour)
  • Colin Waldron (Ind)
  • Keith Willis-Croft (Labour)


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

33 replies on “Plans for new Burntwood supermarket come under fire”

  1. Hi Paul this will be the land behind the Bridgecross WMC and they are purchasing the club itself.

    Phil, they have brought the land and draw up the plans.

    Get a copy of last weeks burntwood post.  if not let me knwo i will scan it and send you a copy.



  2. It’s not a proper application yet. There’s scope in the Local Development Framework for a retail development to a limit of 16,000m² gross, which I guess Aldi are interested in. Nothing will be applied for until the LDF goes through.

  3. It”s a proposal at this stage, not at planning yet. One area suggested locally is the Bridgecross Social Club. Links to the consultation comments in the story confirm Aldi’s intention to open in Burntwood.

  4. Having watched the disaster that was Co Op, Sankeys Corner I’m not sure how Aldi thinks it’s going to generate sufficient trade to justify the development. Although, I’m a fan of Aldi so I for one welcome our new German overlords.

  5. There used to be a cinema at Sankeys Corner but it closed down because not enough prople went.

    The Garrick is a money pit the taxpayers of Burntwood help to pay for because it can’t stand on it’s own feet. Therefore do you really think a theatre is viable in Burntwood?

    Get real Darren please!

  6. Hi Bob, when Sankies corner Cinema closed in 1975 there was under 20000.  We now have a population of Nearly 30000, since 1975 and the major building here we have never had the amenities to follow it.

    I am not saying a theatre, its called an idea, and do you really think we need so many Supermarkets so close to each other?

    I am saying we are growing, we have plans of another 430 houses in the pipeline, we need something more instead of being forced to have to leave Burntwood.

    So don’t just pick on one point in my statement Bob.  I am getting real, and this isn’t just my opinion, its just me that voicing it.

  7. I would welcome an Aldi store at Sankeys Corner, the Tesco’s at Sankeys is not big enough to do a full weeks shop, subsequently I have to go to the Tesco at Brownhills and use Aldi’s when I am there.

    Come on Burnwood give the people what they want, not what you think they want.

  8. Evening John,

    Did you know tesco are trying to buy the lands around there store and expand?  I am glad you would like a Aldi, but how many supermarkets do you need to go to? I can understand one or two but we have alot more in such a small vicinity!  Thats not an opinion its a fact.

    I’m all for giving people what they want, but to find that out you have to ask them, like I have.



  9. Election time and out of the wood work come people you’ve never heard of before and in a week or two will never hear of again.

    First came a Green that opposes HS2 now we’ve got an independent with the idea that it’d be nice if someone wanted to build a theatre and less nice that someone wants to build a supermarket.

  10. Hi Darren,
    I pride myself on being a shopper, not a taker of things from the supermarket shelf and just putting them into a trolley, I price things up from store to store, restricting myself to using only two stores would be just throwing money away.

    No I didn’t know Tesco are trying to buy land to expand, perhaps Tesco and Aldi know a little more about the retail business than they are making out.

  11. Good Evening Andy,

    I love the way people picking up on the third of a option?  Bearing in mind a theatre was a option but I am all for giving people choices rather than just telling them what they can have.  Just because this is new for me doesn’t mean i’ve never voiced concerns and issues within Burntwood.

    And the main point of this statement isn’t the fact I want a theatre or cinema its the point of view that we have enough!  We don’t have enough entertainment amenities in Burntwood and that that would be a better idea.



  12. JontheMon – The reason Tesco isn’t big enough is because nobody used it. Tesco had to reduce the size of the shop by about 1/3 to reduce costs and make it viable.

    Darren – For the same reason, I doubt whether Tesco is seriously looking to expand. Having been forced to reduce the size I doubt whether there’s a business case for expanding it beyond the current building. There are, however, plenty of good business reasons for buying up the immediately surrounding land.

    As for a cinema or similar, Cannock is a much bigger population and it is only just managing to support a small cinema (which is really good btw, anyone who’s not been recently should go take a look). I doubt whether Burntwood would be a viable location for anything like that unless it was big/good enough to attract custom from other areas.

  13. Local council candidate uses local news blog and dubious case to push for publicity, making some utterly daft claims.

    All can be paraphrased as ‘Vote for me! Vote for me!’

    Move along, nothing to see here. All aboard the gravy train.

    Plus ca change, and all that


  14. Evening Bob,

    little confused on the relevance of your reply?  If you let me know what the utterly daft claims are?  I seem to think I have only stated facts and if I am wrong by all means I will look at my views.

    And Paul, all good points, but again not saying it has to be a cinema, or a theatre or anything in particular.  I have lived in Burntwood all my life, I have two young children and I would like to do something with them locally more than go to a park or swimming, which is about the only options.



  15. I come from burntwood and dont see the point in another supermarket.

    Bob you dont even come from burntwood, your post was more like )look at me, look at me) totally irrelevant

    so jog on

  16. No it’s not irrelevant. Councillor behaviour is the same whenever an election comes.

    The usual modus operandi is to whip up a storm about an issue not previously noticed, and then making a pitch of solving it.

    The casual observer may assess this as media manipulation, but I couldn’t possibly speculate.

    Best wishes


  17. No, just a fact of life during council elections. If you didn’t report it, they’d cry bias. It’s the one period when candidates have the media by the privates.

    Just find it all a bit tawdry, to be honest.

    Best wises


  18. I think people need to lay off Darren Ennis a little. I’m as cynical as the next man but here you have an new independent candidate sparking debate about a local issue which has come to his attention.

    IF he gets elected, we can all judge him on his performance in the position. Personally I want more independents in the council and having dealt with some of our councillors I would never want to be one myself as I wouldn’t be able to put up with the party politics and the selfish and pompous attitudes.

    There ARE good councillors, just not anywhere near enough of them. If we give everyone a hard time from the outset before even knowing what kind of job they’ll do, nothing will ever change.

  19. I take your point David, but if he cannot take it on a message board he will never make it on the doorsteps. He will not get my vote for the simple reason he gives me the impression he does not want Burntwood to grow. We have ONE supermarket in Burntwood, and that is Morrison’s, the others are only convenience stores. It is time to wake up and face facts, small shops have had their day, protecting those that remain is only prolonging the inevitable.

  20. Hi Darren

    I agree the plans for another retail outlet near Sankeys Corner seem rather dubious, but we have to face reality, Burntwood will never be a hub for entertainment. Both Lichfield & Cannock are just down the road, both have larger populations and both are also growing as Burntwoood is and both have entertainment facilities that don’t exactly make huge amounts of money, if at all.

    We however have Chasewater on our doorstep which may not be suitable for cinemas or bowling alleys but if managed correctly could be a great asset for the area. And perhaps you could even take your kids for a walk round there too!

    New facilities only get built if investors think they can make money out of them and Aldi obviously think they can, and I say good luck to them. Equally, businesses only stay afloat if there’s a market for them as witnessed by the numerous pub closures not only in Burntwood but across the country.

    Being idealistic is great Darren, but sometimes you have to be realistic too.

  21. Thanks for the positive comments.

    @David Quinn, thank you, seems like you understand and your comment reminded me again that some people do understand that there are good people out there, people who are willing to try.

    @johnthemon I have taken it and I have answered it.  I can see everyone’s points but not everyone agrees.  This is your opinion, Co-op on Morely road is a Supermarket, the one down Swan Island is a supermarket.  They are not as big as Morrison’s BUT they are supermarkets.  The plans that Aldi are throwing around to the people local to the proposed site is not going to be anywhere close to the size of Morrisons.  So in your theory does that mean they wont be a Supermarket?  Also I don’t like the idea you see small local business as a dieing trade, and your right I will do my utmost to protect the “inevitable” down fall of local businesses.

    @Bob your right I am a idealist, and I do want Burntwood to grow in the right way.  I am looking for idea’s and your right Chasewater is a asset which could be expanded in so many ways.

    Thanks everyone, good and bad :-)

  22. Any commercial development up Sankeys is a good thing in my view. I too would love it to be an entertainment hub, but for now it’s a desolate dive with no potential for local businesses. So if it takes an Aldi here and a Tesco there to begin the regeneration, so be it. After that there is plenty of room for development to try and give the Corner it’s own identity.

  23. HI Darren

    Any one with business acumen knows that we can no longer have all we want ,Cinema/Theatre etc., within walking distance.
    If you are so sure there are thousands of locals willing to pay each week for the pleasures you mention here is a suggestion you might like to try.
    Each week you hire a coach to take you and ,say,40 people to the big city where you will find most (if not all) the pleasures you desire.
    Such a small number should be easy -compared to your thousands.
    The only down side is that those that “want” pay for it instead of the rest of us subsidizing them.
    You can make quite a name for yourself and who knows be next years man of the year.

  24. As a non-driver, I for one would like to be able to walk somewhere local for entertainment, as I am not keen on travelling by bus, potentially doubling the cost of my trip!
    Also, as Darren has pointed out (and mentioned in The Post), the Aldi will not fit into the Supermarket category as defined by Jonthemon, as it will only need “12-15” full-time staff, and we have a few of these size stores already. 
    In essence, I don’t think we need a supermarket (or neighbourhood food store) and would welcome some form of entertainment facility.

  25. Darren Ennis says:
    “Co-op on Morely road is a Supermarket, the one down Swan Island is a supermarket”

    Darren can’t you see the point I am making? There has been a same size store on each site for close on forty years, just look how the population of Burntwood has grown in that time, and what do we have to show for it? Just ONE Morrison’s supermarket.

    Come on Burntwood you are lagging behind.

  26. “James” “as I am not keen on travelling by bus, potentially doubling the cost of my trip!” You have made my point very clearly. Too many people “want” but are not prepared to pay. If you do not travel except by foot you are missing a great many things

  27. I ‘want’ entertainment facilities on my doorstep. but don’t see the relevance it has to a private company wanting to build a shop/supermarket (depending on your definition). It’s not like Aldi are taking the last plot or LDC are funding it.

  28. Entertainment providers are not going to invest in an area that looks as if it is on a permanent half-closing day. The present Shopping Centre needs a major make-over; the area from Barclays bank to Tesco`s needs demolishing and a proper shopping parade built. The road between needs pedestrianising so that the market can expand into it. Only then will Sankeys look as if it it open for business, and other enterprises will be more tempted to come there. Sankeys Corner is only busy when the kids from the schools descend upon it about 3.30pm. I have seen country villages with more going on than we have.

  29. Keep the Post Office building, as it’s the only one with a bit of character, otherwise demolish away. All of the waste land around the Tesco site should be flattened and paved, then gradually developed over the years/decades.

    I should really have posted that letter to the Big Planning Debate I guess.

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