Public meeting to be held in bid to answer Stonehaven supermarket question

Stonehaven and District Community Council are set to hold a public meeting in a bid to pin down exactly what residents want from a second supermarket,

The issue of bringing a second supermarket to the Mearns town has proven to be a controversial one in recent years, with a divergence in opinion amongst residents over location and size.

The meeting will feature presentations by community council members Andrew Newton and Allan Sutherland, and also Andrew Turnbull, a former supermarket executive and senior lecturer in the retail industry at Robert Gordon University Business School, before the floor is opened to questions from the audience. It will take place at Mackie Academy on Thursday, February 10 at 7.30pm.

Mr Newton and Mr Sutherland have spent several months compiling a summary of 18 proposed supermarket sites which have been touted in the area at some point over the course of the last few years,

The report states: “This document is an attempt to provide for the first time, and in the same place, a factual layman’s guide to the advantages and disadvantages of all the potential supermarkets sites that have been proposed in the past or currently being proposed for Stonehaven.

“In the interest of fairness it also includes sites that have been discussed but are plainly unsuitable or undeliverable. It is meant to be completely factual and the community council is eager to accept any corrections. The document should be read as being completely unbiased and Stonehaven and District Community Council do not endorse any of the locations contained within this document.”

It is available to read by visiting www.stonehavencommunitycouncil.co.uk/

Mr Sutherland added: “The meeting’s objective is to give a factual, unbiased account of the viability and planning history of the “contenders” and background into the supermarket industry, so people can form an opinion, based on unbiased information, not only on where a supermarket should be, but what size and type.

“The presentations will last 30 minutes, then people can ask questions and air their views. The feedback from this session will help us to decide on the next steps.”

He added: “This summary has been prepared as a “snapshot” of sites which are either currently being considered or have been in the past. We don’t claim to be retail or planning experts.

“It’s clear that the town needs improved supermarket provision, but the questions are where? What size? What type? When?

“Whether you want a huge hypermarket on the town square, or no shops within a 10 mile radius of stonehaven, or one of the many options in between which have been proposed in the last 30 years, we hope that if you attend the meeting you will leave just a little bit better informed about the options, issues and opportunities.”

The community council has urged as many people as possible to attend the meeting and give their views on the subject.