The Gazette can exclusively reveal Aldi, Costa Coffee and pub chain Marston’s named as proposals revealed for major retail development at Roundswell in Barnstaple.

Plans have been revealed for a proposed major retail development at Roundswell featuring the new St Johns Garden Centre, an Aldi supermarket, Marston’s pub and Costa Coffee.

The Gazette can exclusively reveal a planning application for the estimated £10million development is expected in the new year.

St Johns Garden Centre owners Nick and Simon Oliver said the site next to the A39 would provide a convenient linked shopping experience, giving people several things to do at one location.

Earlier plans to build a stand-alone garden centre at Roundswell were approved in 2013, while permission was given in 2014 to demolish the existing centre at Newport and build 44 homes on the site.

The proposed site at Roundswell for a new St Johns Garden Centre, Aldi, Costa Coffee and Marstons. Picture: Tony GussinThe proposed site at Roundswell for a new St Johns Garden Centre, Aldi, Costa Coffee and Marstons. Picture: Tony Gussin

Aldi has confirmed it is interested in opening a store at Roundswell, while Costa said it was considering plans for a new drive-through store in Barnstaple, but pub giant Marstons has not responded to requests for comment.

Nick Oliver told the Gazette: “We believe the complementary and linked shopping is of great benefit to the consumer and leads to an exciting new development for North Devon, keeping the trade here.

“We know that there is a huge demand by the public for this particular supermarket company to be represented in Barnstaple as they already have one in Bideford and trade is being haemorrhaged to Bideford where it should be staying in Barnstaple.

“Most exciting of all is the new employment opportunities and a combination of all the retail outlets gives rise to up to 250 jobs.”

The proposed site at Roundswell for a new St Johns Garden Centre, Aldi, Costa Coffee and Marstons. Picture: Tony GussinThe proposed site at Roundswell for a new St Johns Garden Centre, Aldi, Costa Coffee and Marstons. Picture: Tony Gussin

Access to the development would be off the Torrington turning on the Roundswell roundabout.

There would be ample parking for 198 cars at St Johns, 101 at Aldi and a further 53 spaces for Marstons and 42 for Costa.

All the ‘concessionary’ businesses currently linked to St Johns at Newport would move with the garden centre to their new homes, with minimal closure time as they would go straight from the old to the new.

Mr Oliver said the development would not lead to more traffic on the roads, because people would be visiting one site instead of several and many of those visiting Costa or Marstons would already be on the Link Road in any case.

“The hours of trading of these businesses and particularly the garden centre are different to the peak hours of traffic commuting,” he said.

“Part of the objective is to attract summer tourism to the garden centre and visitors to North Devon are always looking for somewhere interesting and attractive to visit.”

He said the new garden centre would bring their retailing up to date, with wider aisles, more customer facilities, better disabled access and generally a better all around customer experience.

The brothers said the move would also benefit St Johns Lane at Newport, which is currently busy with delivery lorries and garden centre visitors.

What do you think of the plans? Email us on newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk and let us know.