Tonight in the Community and Arts centre there was a debate about the forthcoming planning application for a Lidl store plus other premises at Balmakeith (see plan here). There was again alarm expressed from the Association of Nairn Businesses about the effect this would have on the High Street. The association viewpoint that they wanted Lidl in the town centre was again expressed.
A variety of opinions supporting a Lidl store were aired including having to travel the distance of 3 litres of petrol to shop in a Lidl store at the present moment and a perception that the High Street wasn’t appealing to the younger generation and that we couldn't go back in time.
The Westies Rosemary Young stated that from a tourism point of view she thought it would be a disaster. Later she said however: “I have been speaking to the young business people in the town – young people that own businesses in the town. One which is a construction type of business and one which is another sort and I was impressed that they were saying that they wanted Lidl to come.”
Rosemary then asked for a show of hands of those who wanted to see Lidl come to Nairn. There were around 30 people present, community councillors and members of the public, in the room and it appeared that a sizeable majority of those present were in favour of Lidl building a store at Balmakeith. It looked at around 75% to this observer although no count was taken.
Before the meeting moved onto the next subject, Sorcha O'Carrol, a member of Nairn Suburban CC, then said: “Speaking to a lot of the other younger mothers and people that are responsible for the household budget. They would absolutely shop in Lidl and they don’t mind if they have to go to the edge of town or the centre of town. They are absolutely all for having a Lidl Store here.
No doubt the CC's will be hoping for a large amount of monies from the developers as was given by Sainsburys.
Lidl. Nasty cheap store used by plebs, no wonder it's not popular with some folk who stay in Nairn. But the reality is that many people are in need of reasonably priced food and goods, and some don't have a car to burn 3 litres of fuel in to get to Forres
I know 55% voted no in the recent referendum but for once think about the those of us who don't have so much
Local building trades (buisnesses) have always had to put up with competion from all angles and do there best to survive.
They too would prefer local people to employ (shop) with them but that doesnt happen does it.
I get so fed up when the High St whingers get on the soapbox at the slightest sign of competition why should they be treated any differently by us the shoppers who want choice.
Dont even talk about the rates they pay, all buissnesses pay rates or community tax on thier premises so they are not penalised.
Why not in the town centre?
Every single piece of current planning guidance and local plans guides developers towards building within a town centre, to maintain its viability...then what happens?
They stick plans in for out of town & the community councils do back flips with excitement, without so much as a thought for the High Street.
3,6 or 9 months down the road we will read complaints about the state of the High Street on the Gurn from the same folks who have come over all Lidlesk.
I really despair at these people who are supporting more retail outlets at Balmakeith. They seem to contradict themselves on a regular basis, changing their minds on a whim.
These are the people who are running our community councils, no wonder they are not well attended.
I agree with Spurtle, they should not be promoting out of town development, and then complaining about the consequences further down the road!
Personally I love walking in that area, it is a haven for wildlife, I regularly watch a Kestrel hunting there. But nature does not come into the discussion does it?
The quick fix is to accept Lidl at face value, the difficult decision is to reject Lidls' plans with a view to enliven the Town centre by encouraging development in that area.
Talking about money from Sainsburys, whatever happened to the projecting clock which was supposed to be in Castle Lane? And talking about Castle Lane, is anything ever going to go into this fancy new noticeboard which mysteriously appeared there?
If Nairn has to prospere then change is inevitable and that can't be perceived as the High Street all the time, the units there are just not big enough and exactly where can they expand on the High Street which is mostly listed buildings and don;t state the library building as that was formally a supermarket which couldn't serve the purpose and that leaves where????
How many Nairn businesses in this Association of Nairn Businesses?
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