PLANS to turn a former police station in Selby into an Aldi have been deferred by councillors due to concerns over highway safety.

A proposal from the budget supermarket chain to demolish the old police station in Portholme Road had been recommended for approval by Selby District Council officers.

But despite overwhelming support for the principle of a new Aldi store, some residents raised concerns about the safety of school children and the elderly given the expected increase in traffic and HGV deliveries.

Aldi said the new 1,900 square metre store, with a 102-space car park, would replace the existing “outdated” store at Three Lakes retail park to the south.

The company has offered to contribute £125,000 towards a council study aimed at reducing congestion and boosting air quality, but Cllr Robert Packham questioned why the cash was not being spent directly on highways improvements in Portholme Road.

He said: “In many respects, I can see this is a good location for an Aldi store and I can see why local residents would want an Aldi store in that location with easy accessibility, but I do have very serious concerns about the highway issues.”

Cllr Georgina Ashton raised a series of issues.

She said: “For me there are three key things in terms of highways: it’s the two junctions at either end of Portholme Road; it’s the immediate junction onto Portholme Road with the congestion  – within 150 metres you’ve got the three supermarkets, two community facilities and 154 new homes next door; and then the pedestrian crossings – the lack of them – across Portholme Road.”

Will Brooke, Aldi property director, said the company explored options for a signalised junction and low mini roundabout, but that “neither could be supported on road safety grounds".

He added: “And so as part of the highways sign-off, we’ve  agreed an £125,000 payment towards the Selby place and movement study.

"This study includes the Portholme Road corridor and the payment is for use by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) to mitigate the impact of existing traffic by improving the wider localised network.”

Councillors voted to defer the plans and called for a highways officer from NYCC to attend the next meeting to explain the plans in more detail.