Environmentalists held a small demonstration in the car park on the proposed new Aldi store in a bid to save nine mature trees.
The German chain plans to remove the features to make way for its brand new 1,254 sqm supermarket and 128 space car park on the current Co-op site in Park Street, Deal.
In a stand against this, members of Deal and Dover Green Party held a “love-in” where they tied messages to the trees and handed out leaflets to shoppers.
Green Party parliamentary candidate for the area, Beccy Sawbridge, said: “It’s not about not wanting the supermarket there but making sure these trees aren’t unnecessarily taken away.
“Trees do so much for us to protect our increasingly fragile eco system.
“Given that these mature trees already have Tree Preservation Order’s on them, people were astonished and rather angry that Aldi seemed to feel justified in chopping them down.
“It’s important to remember we share this earth.”
The activists argue that the mature trees currently in existence – one oak, two lime, two beech and six sycamore – are not only loved for their visual amenity but because they all also help clean the air, contribute to people’s health, help save energy and benefit wildlife.
They feel in the rush for development, Deal would lose some of its character.
An Aldi spokesperson said: “We agree that trees have many benefits for an area, and where possible we will maintain existing trees and plant new trees within our proposed development in Deal.
“As part of the planning application submission we will provide an assessment of the existing trees on site. Whilst nine trees are proposed to be removed to allow the Aldi development to come forward, Aldi will be replacing these with 13 mature specimens throughout the site, w’hich will be supported by the required infrastructure to allow them to grow successfully within the car park and ensure their longevity.
“Overall, the additional trees and landscaping proposed, in addition to the introduction of a modem and highly sustainable Aldi building, will regenerate the site and enhance the local Conservation Area setting. We are delighted that an overwhelming number of local people have already shown their support for the proposals and can’t wait for Aldi to open.”
Aldi will submit a planning application to Dover District Council this month. If it is granted the store will open during 2019.