Saturday, April 14, 2018

If Home Bargains get go-ahead at Balmakeith the Co-op want controls imposed on amount of floor space used for sale of food.

In a submission to the recent planning application for a restaurant with a drive-thru facility and a Home Bargains retail outlet at Balmakeith, a Co-op employee has stated the following to Highland Council planners:

"I write in relation to the above planning application on behalf of the Co-op who as you will be aware operate 3 food stores in Nairn.

The conditions of the outline planning permission state that the as yet undeveloped units should be restricted to non-food use - a condition that B and M clearly cannot comply with.

We would urge the Council that should it be minded to approve the above application that conditions are appended to any permission to clearly control the amount of floor space that can be utilised for the sale of food and other convenience goods in order that the potential impact of the new store on the town centre is mitigated.

Such conditions would also prevent a food retailer from occurring the unit in the future without the Council having the opportunity to fully address impact through the planning process."


Gee Plan said...

There seems to be some confusion.

There is no application for "B&M" to build a store at Balmakeith. The documents clearly state that the retailer concerned is "Home Bargains", which is a different firm.

The current planning consent and conditions for the site allow one food retailer inc petrol station (Sainsburys, already built), one non-food retailer with certain restrictions, and no cafe/restaurant.

The developers of Home Bargains and MacDonalds appear to be trying to bend, or reinterpret, these requirements. They admit that Home Bargains sells both food and non-food items (including many that are listed as not permitted under existing planning conditions).

They go on to say, without evidence, that "... it is not considered that these [two new proposed retail developments] would have a significant impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre...", and anyway they claim the premises would be below the size that would trigger a "Retail Impact Analysis" required by the local plan to assess the effect on the town centre/High Street.

And they also assert that McDonalds is "... not likely to compete with [other, ie town centre] cafes/restaurants....".

Who do they think they are kidding? Or as John McEnroe might say: "They CANNOT be serious!" . No wonder the Co-op people are so concerned.

Graisg said...

Thank you Gee Plan for pointing that out. The Co-op don't even know who is going to go in there if the application is successful but we should have spotted that, we've rectified the title of the post.

It is hard to see how, if the application were to be granted, that Sainsbury's could then be prevented from having a cafe themselves?

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with competion, bring it on

Anonymous said...

I'm just waiting for planning to go in for a charity shop and a gent's barbers at the site

Anonymous said...

So in the interests of fair competition within Nairn, shouldn't there be an enquiry as to how the Co-op managed to get three premises?

Gee Plan said...

Interesting point, that, about the idea of a cafe in Sainsburys....

This is an important test of Highland Council planning. Conditions are attached to planning consent for a purpose. But the Council have not been very rigorous in the past about monitoring/enforcing planning conditions.

In this case, Sainsburys (and for that matter the town centre shops) would rightly expect that ANY retail development on the Balmakeith site should be subject to the same set of conditions - which were, after all, laid down by Government Ministers.

It would be grossly unreasonable to impose restrictions on what Sainsburys can do (no cafe etc, and prohibitions on certain other types of retail activity), and then not apply those same restrictions to other businesses who want to set up on the same site.

KM said...

co op can go do one, over priced limited choice and they own too many buildings in nairn. i believe even semi chem is related to co op now through scotmid although i could be wrong. Never waste my money on their stores

Anonymous said...

Re 6.02. Or how many ashers bakeries or in store outlets there are..

Anonymous said...

Nairn's Co-ops and their staff are all excellent.

Anonymous said...

how dare the co-op dictate what and where we can shop and for what things,they have the monopoly in nairn,and are afraid of competition,the co-op is over priced and i only shop there for basic essentials,i.e.milk etc,
its time nairn was brought into the 21st century and allow other shops to open
disgruntled customer.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Anonymous @ 3.26pm. Bring more shops and choice and just maybe people will stay in Nairn. Too much dictatorship. I think the people speak for themselves by shopping elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Sadly in the financial climate we live in its bargain stores help keep people afloat. Perhaps the coop could review how they could address and improve their prices. The coop does well in alot of rural areas with poor transport and alot of elderly community members. Sadly they dont have a choice. Nairn wants more.

Unknown said...

Co op seem to think they own Nairn, if they're not upto a bit of competition then it's no one's problem but their own. The real reason for their complaint here is that they know they'll lose.

Anonymous said...

The co-op support many communities in the Highlands by keeping open the only shop in many towns and villages.

The percieved monopoly of stores in Nairn also means that many folk have 'a' shop nearer to them than the High Street or the Balmakeith, this is of benefit to many groups including the elderly and those without transport

Sadly some folk will never grasp that and will just always look for the lowest prices