Premier retailers Dennis and Linda Williams are remaining bullish about the future despite having lost their campaign against a new Aldi development just metres from their Edinburgh store.

The development was granted planning permission last week. The land, which is owned by the Church of Scotland and the city council, had previously been earmarked for sorely-needed affordable housing.

Thousands of people, including MPs and MSPs, had backed Dennis and Linda’s fight against the Aldi development, which they fear will also cause congestion and harm local trade.

Speaking to Convenience Store after the decision, Linda slammed the planning process. “The planning officer’s report was a white wash. It could have been written by Aldi. The planning committee simply hasn’t understood the ramifications of such a development,” she said.

“Obviously we are quite disappointed but we are not downhearted as this is not the end. We will complain to the head of the planning department as we’ve not even been given a hearing despite the fact that there were around 400 objections, and there are still a lot of hurdles for Aldi to get over before any work starts.

“We have also put a number of contingency plans in place to protect our sales,” she added.

The pair have expanded their fresh and chilled ranges and created more space for branded Mega Deal promotions.

“We also plan to distribute 1,000 extra consumer leaflets, targeting a much wider catchment area than ever before and we will do much more on social media to engage with shoppers in their homes and when they are out and about.

“Aldi might have won the fight but it hasn’t won the war.”