Thursday, February 21, 2008

Public inquiry call over Tesco fuel plans

11:13, Feb 21 2008 From Galloway News


TESCO have demanded a full public inquiry into their plans for a petrol station in Castle Douglas.

The ‘News’ reported in January that councillors had turned down the plans but the decision had been taken out of their hands as the supermarket giants had already appealed to the Scottish Government.

They lodged the appeal because their application hadn’t been determined within two months.

The matter was passed to the Inquiry Reporter’s Unit in Edinburgh and Tesco are now pushing for a full inquiry.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have requested a full public enquiry because we feel the process is open and transparent and will allow everyone involved in the process to air their view.”

Galloway and Upper Nithsdale MSP Alex Fergusson, who opposed the application for a petrol station when it was included in the original store plans in 2005, admitted he wasn’t surprised to hear about Tesco’s plans and said he was prepared to fight against it.

He told the ‘News’: “If there is to be a public inquiry then so be it. I feel the case against it applies as strongly now as it did three years ago - nothing has changed.

“I feel the case against it can be put forward at a public inquiry and I am perfectly prepared to do so.”

Castle Douglas and Glenkens councillor Peter Duncan, meanwhile, was slightly taken back to hear of Tesco’s latest move.

He said: “While I’m looking to everyone gets the opportunity to make their case, but I am slightly surprised Tesco have felt the need to ask for a full enquiry.

“I would have thought a hearing would have been sufficient.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A third Tesco for Dumfries?

Story from BBC NEWS:

Traders fear third Tesco's impact

Retailers in south west Scotland have voiced fears for the financial future over plans by supermarket firm Tesco to open a third store in one town.
The company already has a large store in Dumfries and approval to build a smaller one at nearby Heathhall.
It has confirmed it is in talks with the council to build another store next to the Peel Centre shopping complex.
The local retailers association said it meant Tesco would take about 60% of all money being spent in the town.
The supermarket firm used to occupy one smaller site in the town's Lochside estate.
We have identified a need for further investment in Dumfries and that has led us to this development a Tesco spokesman said.

However, it subsequently moved to a larger 24-hour store at Cuckoo Bridge on the outskirts of Dumfries.
Last year Tesco got planning permission to build a smaller outlet at Heathhall.
Now it is in talks with Dumfries and Galloway Council about building at a Lockerbie Road site, which was first given planning permission 13 years ago.
The Chairman of Dumfries Retailers Association, Rab Smith, said the development would put further financial pressure on small businesses.
"We see business as simple arithmetic," he said.
Housing development
"There is about £2.5m spent in retail in Dumfries every week.
"The original Tesco took about £350,000 and that was liveable but the new Tesco store is taking nearly £1m of that."
He said he believed that if the number of supermarkets rose to three then about £1.5m of weekly spending would go to Tesco.
A spokesman for the supermarket company confirmed that it was undertaking "enabling" works on the Lockerbie Road site at present.
He added that due to the amount of peat at the location it was difficult to set a firm timescale for the plans.
The spokesman added: "We are very keen to develop the site - I don't think it has ever gone away from the agenda.
"We have identified a need for further investment in Dumfries and that has led us to this development."
The new supermarket would be about half the size of the Cuckoo Bridge store and create about 200 jobs.
It is situated beside the largest housing development currently being undertaken in Dumfries.
The Tesco spokesman declined to comment on the impact it would have on trade in the town centre.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/02/06 00:18:07 GMT