Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sainsbury's set to stay the course

Sainsbury's are Nairn's favourtite supermarket and they haven't lifted a sod at Balmakeith yet. Yes they want to come here and make money but the Gurn can only get misty-eyed and state that it seems that the community and Sainsbury's have already formed a special bond. Great news then that they have today once again stated their commitment to come to Nairn despite the adversities that the planning process seems to be throwing up.
In response to the Scottish Ministers' decision to call-in the Pettifer and Sainsbury's proposals for Nairn, Brian Pettifer, Chairman of Pettifer Estates, said today,"We are hugely disappointed by this decision, not least on behalf of our many supporters in the Nairn area who helped us to convince the council planning committee to accept unanimously our proposals in August. However I would like to send a clear message to the local community that we remain 100% committed to bringing the first Sainsbury's store in the Highlands to Nairn by bringing our case to the Public Inquiry. We would urge our supporters to join us in calling for the Inquiry to be heard as soon as possible and with the minimum of delay." A spokesperson for Sainsbury's added, " We echo this disappointment but also remain fully committed with Pettifer, our development partners, to bringing a Sainsbury's to Nairn where we have secured unprecedented support from local residents. We have confidence that our proposals are right for Nairn and the Highlands and look forward to presenting our case to bring investment, jobs and improved shopping to the people of Nairn. "


Anonymous said...

I'm sure Sainbury's are committed to coming to Nairn, and everyone will welcome them. If they don't want to wait for a public inquiry though, why don't they look at the town centre site.

It may still be available, and, even better, it comes with planning permission :)

Could be too late though, rumours have it that another may have got their feet under the rug first. Someone at Pettifers must have taken their eye off the ball there.

We all know that the people of Nairn deserve a much better supermarket, that goes without saying, and it seems like we are get one. Shortly after, when the out of town development has been seen to go through due process, and deemed acceptable, we'll then get a second.

Importantly though , the first one will be where most of the people actually want a decent supermarket, and that's in the town centre.

Eighteen months from now we'll be spoilt for choice. If, by then,we've any money left to buy food with :)

Anonymous said...

anonymous, in the comment above, makes a good point. The Somerfields/town centre site has been up for grabs - in various ways - for years. And that is the obvious location for a decent supermarket. If Sainsburys are so committed to establishing a foothold in the area, one does wonder why they didn't seize that opportunity years ago, or indeed more recently.

Could it possibly be that Pettifer's zeal for pursuing the edge-of-town site despite the planning hurdles, is driven not so much by a generous desire to bring Sainsburys to the people of Nairn, as by the prospect of lucrative returns from the additional development of the rest of the site - which they will doubtless argue to the planners is essential?

Or should we not be so cynical...

Graisg said...

Nairnbairn: so far the number of additional stores on the Balmakeith proposal has been reduced to three. Whether the developers have greater dreams for another day who knows?
Meanwhile the Inverness Courier headlines today with another proposeed mega retail development on the A96 in Inverness. Including a drive in fast food outlet. No need for the Pettifer style bicycle park there then.

There is a school of thought in Nairn that believes that no one will want to buy the existing Somerfield store given the baggage that goes along with it - Community Centre to demolish etc. And could you actually build one there that would satisfy the needs of Nairn's growing population. It can't have escaped notice that quite often there isn't a parking space to be had in Nairn town centre and that's with only about 20% doing their main shop in Nairn.
Perhaps we'll hear something for certain soon.

Anonymous said...

Who knows as to what supermarket we might get post the current economic crisis, at this rate it will a state owned affair.
Whatever happens any large supermarket is going to make quite an impact on already (As reported in the Gurn) busy roads, namely the A96. We already see huge queues around the 5:00 pm rush hour and if folk start driving into Nairn for the new store it will only make matters worse.
As Craisg says we also have a parking problem in the town. A larger town centre store would find it difficult to address that with the limited space that is available. The Co-op will be forced to sell one of the stores in Nairn. If they decide to sell the Somerfield store we might see an even worse situation as if there are no buyers then the doors could close meaning we would just have the Co-op store on the High Street. Our best hope would be for Sainsburys to snap up the Somerfield store whilst it awaits planning permission for the new site?
Beginning to be a complex situation, maybe we should invite Brown, Bush etc for a meeting to help us out!

Anonymous said...

The time is fast approaching where planning the built environment purely around the needs of car users can no longer be argued as justifiable.

If we are ever to achieve a better balance between the paradigm of cars as the only form of transport, and increased levels of sustainability, then perhaps it is time to question exactly why we have to have so much parking.

If we apply a little Darwinian theory, you can see point in the future where the greater part of the better off sector of society ie those who can still afford to drive, will see noticeable shrinkage in their leg length, brought about by their seeming unwillingness to ever do anything other than drive directly to the door of any retail emporium they choose to favour with their custom.

It would be nice if planning policy was changed to encourage developments that support the use of sustainable transport by the masses. Be it walking, cycling , or park and ride schemes, it is surely time to realise that the edge of town schemes can no longer be considered best practice.

As has been said previously, Nairn deserves a better supermarket, and Sainsbury's would be a superb boost to the town. It would be nice though if we managed to get the supermarket in the town centre, where it belongs, and keep the droves of cars out of town, where they belong.