Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lidl at Balmakeith proposal – a view emerging from Auldearn CC?

Auldearn Community Council discussed the Lidl store proposal at their regular meeting in the Dunbar Hall on Wednesday night. 

Roger Milton, chairing the meeting, and opening the topic up for discussion said: “I’ve already been at few meetings that it’s been discussed at and there’s a variety of views.” 

One member of the public who was not against the store said immediately in response to Roger’s call for views: “The roundabout as it is at the moment is not fit for purpose. There have been a lot of near misses; I think that needs to be looked at.” 

Roger then said: “There’s a fair degree of general feeling that the shop itself isn’t a bad idea but there’s a lot of people that feel that it is in the wrong place.”

Talk moved onto a possible town centre site for a supermarket and David Browness (at Sandy Park’s expense) joked: “there’s a gentleman sat at the back of the room who knows a bit about that.”

Roger added: A lot of Sandy’s life was fighting to try and get a supermarket in the centre of town so the difficulties and the resistance that the developers have to doings something like that even if the site is big enough.”

David Brownless then said: “There have been some changes since Sainsbury’s was built it’s now adopted by the Scottish Government the policy town centre first where, in theory, the developer has to prove that it isn’t possible to develop in the town centre before they grant permission out of town. [...] The Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan doesn’t actually zone the area beyond Sainsbury’s which is there at the moment. [...] It’s amazing how many people in the town, even those who in food retailing, have nothing against Lidl coming into Nairn at all but they would much rather have it in the town centre than out of town. I think people will eventually realise that out of town really does not an awful lot for the benefit of the town centre and I just wonder whether by crucifying every single town before the penny finally drops.”

This observer then asked David about town centre parking for a new store. Gurnites will know that sometimes it can be hard to get parked in the town centre. David admitted that that was a problem.

Meanwhile whilst on supermarket manoeuvres again, the Courier stated in an article on Friday that Sainsbury's were trying to get into Inverness:

"Sainsbury’s said any new store would not impact on its £20 million outlet in Nairn, which opened four years ago, and confirmed that it was considering several sites in Inverness.

A spokesman said: "We would like to be in Inverness, as the Nairn store is doing really well." More here. 

Gurn Opinion:

The battle here will be between those consumers that will want to see Lidl on the outskirts of town and those that are proponents of the town centre supermarket argument as promoted in the past by Sandy and previous administrations. The idea of a larger supermarket in the town centre is perhaps the brainchild of a different age now and might have worked in the last millennium but is less than appealing to any developer today. There will be those who argue that saying to Lidl you should go into the town centre is just another way of telling them to get lost. The Ziran Land proposal will eventually find its way to the Highland Council planning department and onto the e-planning site. There has been a trend since that site went live a few years ago for more and more Nairn residents to submit their thoughts on planning applications - no doubt the possible Lidl venture will attract considerable comment too – another Nairn controversy coming up for the planning committee to consider?


Anonymous said...

The Co-op have seen fit to refit their High St store at great expense. By modern day standards this is a tiny store that would probably be labelled 'convenience' by many, but clearly has a great enough turnover for the Co-op to see it worth investing in the store

There are still enough people who shop on a near daily basis and don't need a dozen varieties of baked beans on offer when they go into a store

I doubt very much that Lidl would consider a town centre site, for one I'm not aware of any unless the farmer's field is going back on the table?

A new town centre store falls under a nice idea (or should that be NICE) but for the moment I can't see it happening

Supermarkets are very aware of how people shop but for the moment they still see out of town stores as viable.

It's unfortunate that Lidl doesn't offer home delivery but then this is an operation run at a loss with the sole aim of keeping customers

Nairnites can debate as much as they want but the space next to Sainsbury's is where we'll get the new store

Anonymous said...

I've no problem with a store at Balmakeith, will stop me leaving town to get my messages cheaper.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine anything anyone could say that would stop the planners not giving planning permission. A reluctant submission for most people in that we'll get the store come what may

No one seems to have picked up on the extra retail unit in the plans. An extra death knell for the High St if there ever was one.

Nairn becomes yet another town with an out of town retail park and a dead High St. I'm not saying this is bad, just how retail is going and will continue to do so

The sad fact is that with a high number of elderly in our population little thought seems to be given to them and their lack of mobility. Lodgehill clinic for example moved out of town to the hospital, great facilities but further out for patients to get to

Anonymous said...

High number of elderly in our population little thought seems to be given to them and their lack of mobility.
That in it's self should be good enough to bring the houses at the old service building back in to use and that would release larger homes for others. To me more like sense than some of the proposals put forward. I.E selling it off cheap to a private enterprise.

Anonymous said...

Shopping habits are constantly changing. In recent years the weekly shop at a supermarket mentality is waning (not for me I admit). People bulk buy some goods and home deliver foods but more and more are convenience shopping in between and stopping at local butchers/grocers etc. more regularly. I'm not suggesting that may happen here but the expansion of most stores is convenience nowadays. So the high street might not suffer as much as perhaps used to be the case.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 8:48 PM

Can anyone translate?

Greg said...

Personally I am pleased that Lidl is coming to town but I would prefer if it was in the town centre. Interestingly the Co-op has decided that it's future strategy is to concentrate on the convenience store model, and has just sold 5 of their larger (more than 11,000 sq.ft) sites down in England to Lidl. I wonder if the existing Co-op store fits into this category and if we're going to find the Co-op looking to sell or close it in the next few years ....

Anonymous said...

Can anyone translate? No problem
just get it built.

Anonymous said...

I think if it went to a Nairn Vote, More would say Yes to Lidl than say no. Its just the way of the world, everyone wants everything for as cheap as they can get it!!

DW said...

Anon. Can’t come soon enough.. Those opposing Lidl need to consider what benefits this will be for people with families and the elderly who are struggling to make ends meet.

Graisg said...

@DW We didn't publish your detailed price comparisons between the Co-op Nairn and the stores in (Inverness?) you mentioned because to be fair to everyone that kind of material is best produced with receipts etc.

Anonymous said...

@ DW

It's no Lidl that'll make a difference to the poor and the elderly, it's continued rule from Westminster that taxes the poor

Still, when we get the vow all that will change won't it

Anonymous said...

As a semi regular visitor to Lidl in Forres I note that over the years the variety and choice of items has been much reduced, this in common with all supermarkets

I'm slightly bemused by the clamour to have a Lidl in Nairn

We used to have to have the wonderful Rose Brothers that stocked foods that I'd never heard of as a child, such was their exotic range, and if they didn't have it they'd get it for you

I did ask one local supermarket about restocking an item that disappeared from their shelves but was told 'not enough demand'

I can't knock Lidl if all you want is basic cheap food and for many of us that's all that the budget stretches to most weeks, but it amuses me that in this age of great progress and choice Nairnites used to have far more on their High St than any modern supermarket offers

Anonymous said...

always remember,,,a LIDL GOES A LONG WAY