I WAS astonished to read that Torfaen council’s planning committee had rejected plans to build an Aldi store near the Skewfields roundabout in Pontypool. Equally amazing were the comments made and reasons given for the refusal. 

To cite concerns of the store, “undermining the vitality, viability and attractiveness of Pontypool town centre” is laughable.

These people are not looking at the town I see, depressed, empty and dirty.

I do remember a vibrant town, in the 1950s and 60s, but Pontypool hasn’t been that for decades. I’m also interested to know what “nearby traders” might be affected?

The nearest food store is surely Tesco and they don’t seem to struggle for revenue.

Any potential traffic problems and issues of poor location for non-car modes of transport seem to have been overlooked when permission was given for KFC and an hotel chain to build on the other side of the roundabout.

The biggest hazard for all road users on the roundabout is the entry and exit at that point where you have McDonalds, the filling station, KFC and the hotel.

The access on the Skewfields side is, and would be, far less of a problem. I don’t remember any major issues when Trico were using the Skewfields site.

This is a poor decision all round, a lost opportunity to generate jobs and to encourage more people to shop in Pontypool.

Avril O’Reilly
New Inn