NO DECISION ON DUNOON SUPERMARKET
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 April 2011 15:51 Written by Aileen MacNicol Wednesday, 13 April 2011 15:34
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DESPITE a day-long hearing last Friday (April 8) Dunoon will have to wait a little longer to find out whether plans for a new supermarket will go ahead.
Representatives from local businesses and Cowal residents came to the Queen's Hall, Dunoon for a hearing before members of Argyll and Bute Council's planning and protective services committee, hoping that a decision would be finalised.
But councillors have decided that they need more information before they can make a decision - although, by a slim majority, the committee seems inclined towards approval.
Opinion on the proposal from developer CWP is divided in the town - with local shoppers keen to access greater choice and competitive prices, but town centre traders deeply concerned that such a large, out of town store will spell the end for independent shops.
CWP has maintained that there is no specific supermarket chain behind the proposals, but that if permission is granted, one of the UK's 'Big Four' chains will be keen to take advantage of the opportunity to have a Cowal presence.
It has never disclosed which 'Big Four' operator (Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury) might be interested - but a comment at last Friday's planning hearing may narrow the list to some extent.
When asked by Cllr David Kinniburgh about supermarket interest in the proposals for Dunoon, CWP's Bruce Weir replied: "We regularly meet with the major supermarket companies. Morrisons and Co-operative Group are happy with their presence in Dunoon. Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda are the three remaining operators - and Tesco and Sainsbury are the two making the right noises."
For a full report on last Friday's planning hearing, see the Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard print edition on Friday April 15.