Public being quizzed again on store plans

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MEMBERS of the Kirriemuir community are being given another opportunity to have a say on whether or not they want a new supermarket on the outskirts of town.

Revamped plans for a store on a site at Pathhead are set to go before a meeting of Angus councillors early next year.

The proposals have been tabled by local developer Mark Guild, who told Kirriemuir Community Councillors last week that he had the support of the local community behind him.

He learned at the meeting that the majority of community councillors were behind the move to develop the Pathhead site for a supermarket, while there were plans in the pipeline for members to canvas the views of the public on the proposal.

There is, at present, one consent for a supermarket in town, CWP Property Development having successfully appealed an Angus Council decision to refuse them permission to develop the Gairie Works site.

Almost a year has passed since the appeal decision, with nothing fresh to report on the Gairie Works plans.

Mark Guild remains convinced that the wrong site received consent, and states that this is borne out by the public support shown for his site at Pathhead and the opposition to the Gairie Works site.

He informed Kirriemuir Community Councillors last week that his Pathhead proposal was of sufficient size to attract one of the major operators to Kirriemuir.

Members were reminded that Kirriemuir was missing out at a time when new stores in Forfar, Montrose and Arbroath had been given the green light.

It was pointed out that, in Forfar, the town was buzzing in the wake of the arrival of Asda, with very few vacant units at present.

Mr Guild reminded community councillors of his firm’s thorough canvas of the area for views, stating that 94% of those spoken to were in favour of a big-name supermarket in town, with 77.6% of them in favour of developing the Pathhead site.

Mr Guild stressed that community support had played a big part in bringing supermarkets to other areas of Angus, and that Kirriemuir was now the only Angus burgh not being serviced by a big-name supermarket.

“In Guild Homes we have a willing developer with an appropriate site, offering the biggest employment opportunity in Kirriemuir for the next ten, twenty or more years.

“We cannot do this ourselves. We need the community with us,” he added, pointing out that the application would come before a special meeting of Angus Council in Kirriemuir Town Hall on February 1 from 6 pm.

In the debate that followed, eight out of the ten serving community councillors indicated that they favoured the development of the Pathhead site for a supermarket.

However, it was stressed that the local community required to be canvassed before the Kirriemuir Community Council could formulate its response to the proposal, ahead of the February meeting.

Members later agreed to carry out a survey in town, asking residents whether or not they supported the idea of a supermarket on a site at Pathhead. Community councillors agreed to knock on doors in their neighbourhoods and canvas those who were attending the annual switch-on of the festive lights in the Square on Saturday.