Friday, June 06, 2008

Somerfield starts gurning about Sainsbury's

Message updated 1709 more info on the Courier opinion poll at the bottom of the post...

Events in Nairn make it onto the front page of the Inverness Courier this morning (as the secondary article, however). Somerfield are not too pleased but are they perhaps in denial about how people feel about supermarket facilities in this town? They trot out the same old arguments about the danger of shop closures and how the councillors are going against their planners' advice. 'We certainly hope the application will be called in by the Scottish Parliament,' is a quote from a Somerfield spokesperson. There is a picture too of the proposed supermarket - sorry but the Gurn doesn't think it will be a very flattering addition to Nairn's architectural line-up but admittedly it will be better than the present mess that we see on the site. Have a look at the Courier yourself and see what you think. Also mentioned is the proposed buy-out of Somerfield by the Co-op.

The Courier has a leader too that criticises the Councillors for going against the local plan: ' Disrepute is a strong word and one that should be used sparingly. But after another decision which drives a fleet of supermarket delivery lorries through a local plan, there is a strong case for using it to describe the state of Highland Council's planning policies.'
The leader continues to analyse the decision and it is very interesting reading but does anyone outside Nairn really realise just how far we have to go for a decent choice of food? Anyway the Courier has a fair bit to read about the planning decision and if you don't normally buy it perhaps this week might be the exception.

The Courier also promises a vote on the decision on its website but as of yet nothing is up about Sainsbury's in Nairn.

Update 1709: Artist's impression of the new Somerfield store here and your chance to vote on the topic of Sainsbury's coming to Nairn here. ( you need to scroll down a bit to get to the vote itself on the right but at the top of the page the Courier wants your comments.

So far this evening the scores on the doors are as follows...

THE BIG VOTE: Was approval for Sainsbury's the right decision?
Yes 74%
No 23%
Maybe 3%


Rhys Wynne said...

Your commentry of an impending new supermarket is similar to that provided by the Rhuthun/Ruthin blog which chartered the buildup and now the aftermath of Tesco's arrival in the town.

I don't know how big Nairn is, but Rhuthun is quite small (5-6,000) and had a reasanably sized Somerfield and a Co-op which happened to be next to each other. A new large-ish Tesco Extra was opened within about 200-300 meters away. The Co-op closed within a matter of months.

I come from a town called Denbihg, wjich is around 6 miles from Rhuthun, it's slightly larger 8,9000, but not quite so prosperous (Rhuthun is becoming a gentrified place, a lot of afflunet incomers from Cheshire and Merseyside).

Denbigh used to have 2 supermarkets, a Lidl (or Aldi) + a huge Kwiks (Somefrield was on the former Lidl site before the merged with Kwiks). Morrisins buillt a new store in town and thw Kwiks eventually shut - which wasn't that unexpected. There are now plans to open a large Teso now on the former Kwiks site!

Graisg said...

Halò Rhys a charaid, ciamar a tha sibh?

Nairn is about 9,000 to 10,000 I think (lol).

A question for you, do Sainsbury's have a bilingual policy in Wales?

Bill said...

I just posted a comment in the Courier website on its editorial about the Sainsbury's planning decision (also the similar decision a while back for Asda). The whole tone of the editorial seemed to be that Councilors should ignore their electorate's views and instead always defer to the recommendations of unelected officials. I'm not sure if the Courier understands what democratic accountability is all about.

I'll be intrigued to see when/if my comment ever appears in their website.

Graisg said...

Yes Bill I agree with that. Seems to me the Courier has no sympathy for Nairn folk who have to travel to buy food. There is a word that Iain Bain has coined and uses in the Nairnshire that sums it all up, 'Invercentric'.
If the Courier doesn't want your comments then they are more than welcome here and I'm glad to report that the Gurn's viewing figures have shot up as a result of the whole Sainsbury's planning application affair. The whole thing has politicised quite a few folk in the town and I hope they keep getting involved, it can only be healthy.

Nairn said...

Damned if you do, damned if you…
Invercentric is a strong word and one that should not be used lightly, but the leader in this week’s Inverness Courier seems to demand that this word be applied once again to our near neighbour’s broadsheet. Throughout the Highlands Inverness is seen by many as the town (Sorry City) that always gets the money, the jobs, the housing, and the say etc.
Here in Nairn we have waited years to get a half descent supermarket and if we all stick with the Local Plan that could just happen in 2020 (Maybe?).
The IC leader speaks of the Plan protecting ‘the attractive town centre and preventing it becoming a graveyard of boarded up premises and charity shops’. Maybe Inverness folk don’t get through to Nairn too often but our attractive high street already has the blight of empty shops, this is the reality of many towns throughout the UK in 2008 not just Nairn. Our Plan has for many years stopped an out of town supermarket but patently it has not saved our shops, so is it a good plan?
A plan is just that – a plan. If the world changes then you need a new plan and our councillors this week did just that, heard that the great majority of Nairn wanted the Sainsbury’s store here and voted for it. Common sense for once prevailed and the representatives we voted for listened to us, how democratic is that!
We are talking in the main here about a store to give us our basic need that of good food, not a DIY store, burger chain, hotel etc. Hopefully it will mean a fleet of supermarket lorries driving through the Local Plan to get to Nairn, and on the flip side should also mean thousand upon thousand of car trips are not made by Nairn folk each week to neighbouring towns in order to get their weekly shop and give them our money.
Maybe the editor of the Inverness Courier will not find it necessary to jump up and down waving the Local Plan at Nairnites for too long before he finds something else out with Inverness to pass judgement upon!
Many thanks to all those who were brave enough to support what I dub our new Local Plan, long may you make such fine decisions

Rhys Wynne said...

enough to shop at Sainsbury's, so I'm not sure ;-)

No, seriously, I'm fairly certain that they do have bilingual signage in stores in Wales, all supermarkets do to be fair, although it tends to vary store by store even among the same chains, and not necessarily depending and % of speakers in the area - just pure randomness. Tesco also have more or less everything bilingual in large stores, but in English only in smaller format stores.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Nairn, before moving up here to Caithness. I sincerely hope that you have better luck with the Reporter's Unit than we did here in Thurso. The application for ASDA to build a supermarket/filling station was turned down by the Scottish Govt on the reccommendation of the Reporter last year, which means that the cheapest fill-up is at Tesco in Wick, a round trip of over 40 miles. So much for reducing the carbon footprint!