Aldi Regional Distribution Centre, Sawley.


Aldi Stores Ltd


Over 600,000 ft2

Local Authority

North West Leicestershire District Council


Commercial, Industrial and Logistics

Key Project Information

  • Our expert landscape architects were appointed to undertake the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment and to prepare an ES chapter in support of a combined full planning application for a Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) and outline permission for a further storage and distribution facility at land off M1, junction 24a, Sawley, on behalf of Aldi Stores Ltd.
  • The scheme is now constructed and spans over 600,000 ft2 of new warehousing, a regional office, car parking and extensive landscape proposals and is Aldi’s newest and largest RDC. Our team also designed and managed the implementation of the landscape planting across the site.

The project benefited from several internal meetings with the wider design team from the outset. Early site survey work undertaken by our team, in combination with discussions with the local authority during the EIA process about particular concerns, revealed that the key issues in relation to landscape and visual matters included potential impacts on visual receptors at more elevated locations to the south and those on receptors with close views from the Grade II listed property to the north.

These constraints were fed into the design of the eventual set back of the main warehouse building from the northern site boundary and resulted in a proposal for a tree planted earth mound along the length of the northern and north-eastern extent of the site.

Balancing the likely landscape and visual effects with the detailed requirements of ALDI Stores Ltd required careful collaborative working with all relevant disciplines, including overcoming complex geotechnical factors in relation to the deliverability of the proposed landscape and drainage strategy.

The site is located between the A50, B6540 Tamworth Road and Netherfield Lane, off J24a of the M1. The site was greenfield in nature at the time of the planning application and comprised agricultural land with some large ponds and tree cover. The site was historically subject to commercial sand and gravel extraction and the quarried areas had subsequently been filled with pulverised fuel ash (PFA).

The proposal was for over 600,000 ft2 of new warehousing, a regional office, car parking and extensive landscape proposals.

The detailed and outline elements were included as part of a hybrid planning application and the EIA covered all aspects of the application. The assessments (including landscape and visual impact assessment) were based on the detailed plans and parameters plans as appropriate for each part of the application.

To test the iterative design as it progressed, we produced several visualisations. These included detailed landscape section drawings, showing the relationship between potential visual receptors and the proposal, which demonstrated the amount views would be deflected by the proposed earth bunding and associated tree planting.

Verified photomontages were also produced, using viewpoint locations at a selection of more distance locations, which further demonstrated how mitigation could soften views of the proposed development and help assimilate it with the character of the local landscape.

The scheme was granted planning permission in August 2015. Our team also designed and managed the implementation of the landscape planting scheme across the site.

A great example of the iterative process of LVIA, despite the scale of the proposal, landscape mitigation became an inherent part of the scheme, serving to reduce visual impact. The internal and external communication processes between Pegasus Group, our client, the consultant team and the local authority were essential in ensuring all parties requirements were met and environmental impacts were successfully reduced

Katie Machin – Associate Landscape Architect – Pegasus Group

Landscape Visual Analysis Aldi Sawley
Aldi Sawley