Murray Bridge will soon get its seventh supermarket if European chain Aldi's plans are approved.
Nielsen Architects have applied to demolish six houses on the corner of Adelaide Road and Thomas Street and build a "supermarket, with associated advertising displays, car parking and landscaping".
The application was lodged with the Adelaide-based Development Assessment Commission on June 1.
In a statement, Aldi Australia confirmed it had identified Murray Bridge in its expansion plans and looked forward to updating the community as those plans progressed.
"When establishing a new store, Aldi considers the long-term potential of the area and population numbers," it said.
"We work closely with local planning bodies such as councils, other businesses and community groups to ensure we positively impact the local area."
It said the new store would lead to the creation of 15 to 20 jobs and offer "unbeatable" value to shoppers.
The Murray Bridge council will be consulted on the proposal, but will have no control over whether it is approved or not.
However, council chief executive officer Michael Sedgman, who met an Aldi representative in May, indicated that the council administration would offer its support.
"Obviously council is supportive of appropriate developments within the environs of Murray Bridge and the site they're proposing within our new town centre expansion zone," he told The Standard.
"It would be a compliant development."
Murray Bridge, with a growing population of about 17,600, is already served by six supermarkets: two Woolworths, two Coles and two IGAs.
IGA Swanport owner Bruce Maczkowiack said that was ridiculous.
"At the end of the day people lose jobs at those other stores (when a new one opens), it's not creating jobs," he said.
"Look at the main street – it has killed the main street."
He said the independent grocers would pin their hopes on personalised, friendly service; local products such as Karoonda honey and Coorong mullet; and price-matching.
Coles' state operations manager, Sophie Wong, would not comment on whether her company was committed to keeping two Murray Bridge stores in the long term.
She simply said Coles and its 120 local staff were focused on providing value, great service and an extensive range of products.
A Woolworths spokesperson said that company intended to keep both of its Murray Bridge stores.
The company will depend upon its reputation as “the fresh food people”, its 100 per cent Australian fresh meat and 96pc Australian produce, and its range of quality brands at great prices.
An expanding company
Aldi established a presence in South Australia in 2013 and has since opened 19 outlets, with more on the way at Aldinga and Victor Harbor.
As it began its expansion into this state, the company indicated it would aim to establish as many as 50 stores here.
However, it had not previously expressed an interest in Murray Bridge publicly.
Previous bid for nearby site
An unidentified party made a bid to purchase all or part of Johnstone Park, which is situated diagonally opposite the proposed Aldi site, in 2015.
However, a public outcry led the entire block to be designated community land, which is unable to be sold without the approval of the public.
Murray Bridge's development rules do not require the public to be notified about the construction of a supermarket.
A notice to neighbouring property owners will do even if the proposed store has an area of 1000 square metres or more.