Musbury Road

Proposal for a sustainable development on the East side of the Axminster Carpets Estate

The consultation period has now ended. Thank you to everyone who participated and submitted feedback.

Your responses will now be considered by the team as they start working up the proposals for the planning submission to East Devon District Council.  As part of the submission, the Report of Community Involvement will include the feedback received and detail how the team have responded to the questions raised.

Once the application has been submitted and verified, East Devon District Council, as the Local Planning Authority, will carry out further statutory consultation and notify near neighbours.  The Report of Community Involvement will be available to view on the Council’s planning portal.

Indicative view into the site from Musbury Road
Image: Mountford Piggott
Indicative view into the site from Musbury Road

The Proposal

ACL Properties is proposing to develop surplus land on the eastern part of the Axminster Carpets estate, off Musbury Road (shown in red on the plan below). This is the first phase of a long-term plan for the consolidation and regeneration of the estate and modernisation of the carpet business.

The proposal is for a mixed-use development featuring a new Aldi discount foodstore and a number of houses fronting Musbury Road.

Downloadable slides detailing the proposals for Musbury Road are available here

Estate Boundary with site in Red
Houses of Parliament

The Story So Far

Axminster Carpets is one of the main occupiers on the Estate. It has a world renowned reputation of weaving in the town since 1755, supplying for example Buckingham Palace, Number 10 Downing Street and The Houses of Parliament. It has been trading in its current location since 1937.

In early 2019 planning discussions began with East Devon District Council. These discussions explored how the first phase of the Estate investment could be implemented to secure the modernisation and reorganisation of Axminster Carpets. A pre-application enquiry was submitted in December.

In February 2020, Axminster Carpets went into administration. ACL Properties joined private investors in the successful rescue, safeguarding a number of jobs.

A key objective of this proposal is to support the modernisation and centralisation of the Axminster Carpets' production to the main building to ensure that Axminster Carpets has a sustainable long-term future.

Find out more about the Axminster Carpets Consolidation here

Indicative view of new ALDI store and rear of new housing
Image: Mountford Piggott
Indicative view of new Aldi store and rear of new housing

Musbury Road Vision

These proposals aim to boost the wider plans to unlock Axminster's potential by:

  • Creating a premiere destination within East Devon - harness known demand from high quality occupiers
  • Delivering a sustainable, high quality business environment suitable for the 21st century
  • Developing a vibrant mixed-use hub for Axminster, that includes business units, trade counter, retail, housing and other complementary uses
  • Contributing to Axminster’s status, growth and self-containment, providing opportunities for local businesses and the wider community
  • Adding momentum to the Town Centre regeneration
  • Generating over 450 local jobs in the long term with an estimated annual wage bill of £10.25m and private investment of circa £25m

It also contributes to the sustainable future of Axminster Carpets and the wider regeneration of the Estate.

View of site from Musbury Road

Please click plan to enlarge

The Site

The application site comprises 1.54 hectares (3.8 acres) of previously developed land located in the eastern part of the larger ACL Estate with access off Musbury Road.

  • The site is well-located, adjacent to an existing residential area, with convenient bus stops, close to the railway station and only 550m walking distance from the Town Centre shopping area.
  • Bordering the site to the north, south and east are residential properties. Immediately to the west are the existing factory units occupied by Axminster Carpets, Ulster Carpets, Bradfords and other trading SME’s.
  • The site slopes steeply to the north and east with a level area in the southernmost part.
  • There are two large redundant portal-framed factory sheds on the application site, one which houses the loom and the other surplus to requirements, together with some small out-buildings.

To find out more about the site click here

Indicative view into the site from Musbury Road
Image: Mountford Piggott
Indicative view into the site from Musbury Road

Please click plan to enlarge

The Proposal

ACL has explored the potential of redeveloping the Musbury Road frontage land for a discount food store and housing. As part of this exercise Aldi has agreed heads of terms as the operator for the proposed food store.

The emerging development proposal is:

  • Demolition of redundant industrial buildings.
  • An Aldi discount foodstore (up to 2,000 sqm) with around 100 parking spaces.
  • A new vehicular access from Musbury Road.
  • Houses fronting Musbury Road with separate new access.
  • Biodiversity enhancement zone and new landscaping opportunities.
  • New bus stops and opportunity for new pedestrian/cycle link through the retained estate.

Key Planning Policy Issues can be viewed here

About Aldi

  • Aldi is one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK today
  • Aldi has more than 874 stores across the country and is expanding to meet strong customer demand
  • Multi-award winner and UK's favourite supermarket according to Good Housekeeping
  • Aldi's rate of pay are significantly higher than the Government's National Living Wage and also above the Living Wage Foundation's recommended national rates.
  • Store Assistants receive a minimum hourly rate of £9.40 nationally.
  • Aldi stores are modest scale supermarkets, not a 'one-stop-shop', so customers also visit other shops and services.
  • A limited range of predominantly own-brand products - around 1800 lines compared to 40,000 lines in the larger stores.

Aldi also brings

  • Redevelopment of a brownfield site
  • A high quality, sustainable building
  • Improved foodstore offer and social inclusion in the area
  • Up to 40 jobs for local people
  • Reduced need to travel for award-winning Aldi offer
Indicative view from Musbury Road
Image: Mountford Piggott
Indicative view of new store and housing

Key Benefits

  • Re-purposing underutilised brownfield land
  • Sustainable location within the Built Up Area
  • Enhanced retail offer (Aldi foodstore) that will support a thriving and growing community
  • Reinforces Axminster’s role as a self-contained town
  • Net increase in jobs and job diversity
  • Improved balance sheet for the carpet-making business
  • Catalyst for wider estate regeneration and economic growth
  • A small but valuable contribution to local housing needs
  • Environmental and visual enhancements
  • Embraces sustainable design/construction and energy efficiency

Next Steps

Subject to a planning approval, we anticipate starting on site in autumn of 2021 with the Aldi discount food store and houses being completed in late spring/early summer of 2022.


  • September: Community Consultation
  • September / October: Further Scheme Development
  • October / November: Submission of Planning Application


  • Quarter 1: Planning Determined
  • Quarter 3: Expected Start on Site


  • Spring / Summer: Development completed