Supermarket fit for purpose

A KIRRIEMUIR developer has launched a fresh bid to give the town a “supermarket fit for purpose”.

Readers may recall that a store proposal by Guild Homes for a site at Pathhead on the southern outskirts of town was one of two rejected by a public inquiry reporter, who gave the go-ahead for a supermarket development on a site at Gairie Works in the centre of town.

However, the Guild camp has come back with a revamped proposal for Pathhead, which is described as “materially different from the previous application.”

At the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday) a report was going before the local authority’s development standards committee recommending that the new proposals be given a hearing.

Angus infrastructure services director Eric Lowson, in his report, states: “In this case the applicant has suggested that there are a number of physical and material differences between the proposal refused on appeal and the current application.”

The councillors will also be asked to consider engaging specialist retail consultants to review the new information that has come to hand.

Speaking about his new proposals, Mark Guild explained that public support for a store at Pathhead remained strong.

“Of the 3000 households we visited in and around Kirriemuir, at the time of our first application, 1755 households took the time to give us their valued opinion and 1363 (77.66%) of households told us they want a supermarket at Pathhead.

“They have told us they don’t want another small supermarket, they don’t want more of the same, they want a proper supermarket fit for the 21st century.

“That is what they want and this is what they deserve.”

Mr Guild goes on to explain that his new application is materially different for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, the Reporter at appeal did not consider the possibility that Kirriemuir could accommodate two new supermarkets.

“Secondly, the retail impact assessment prepared by our consultants has clearly confirmed that Kirriemuir can support a second store.”

He added that a number of physical material differences in the new application included the demolition of Newton Cottage to the south west of the site, significantly improving road safety on what is a very bad corner and a bus lay-by that will allow coaches to park off the Forfar/Kirriemuir Road.

“But the biggest material difference is that this proposal will provide a large store that can compete with the large stores in Forfar, that can meet the needs of people of Kirriemuir and the vast surrounding rural population, not just for today, not only for tomorrow, but for the 21st century.

“This is a supermarket that would be fit for purpose – to meet the needs of the people of Kirriemuir.

“It would be large enough to provide them with choice and value for money on their doorstep and removing the need to travel further afield to Forfar, or even Dundee.”