Aldi’s appeal over its refused application to build a supermarket in Alexandra Road has been rejected by the planning inspector.

Epsom and Ewell Council refused the application for the former Dairy Crest site in April 2016 because the Upper High Street site, which Lidl was recently granted permission for, was better suited for a food store.

An inspector acting on behalf of Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid said the Lidl site, a mere 220 metres away, was closer to the town centre, and is the preferred site for such a retailer.

He also referred to concerns from residents and the council that traffic at the Fiveways junction would be made worse by the development, and Aldi did not have sufficient plans to alleviate its impact.

It was mentioned that the site could now be sold and have housing built on it.

A council spokesman said: "This proposal was deeply unpopular with local residents. Councillors had real concerns over road safety and the impact of a busy supermarket in a residential area adjacent to a conservation area.

"When this development was first proposed, an alternative suitable site closer to the town centre was available; this was highlighted to the developer by the council and the site has since been adopted by another retailer.

"That the planning inspectorate has, after a public consultation and vigorous review, agreed with the council’s view on this application is welcomed."

Aldi has been approached for comment.