Letters to the Editor

Here are the letters sent to us this week that can be seen on page 10. If you have a letter you can e-mail it to news@mearnsleader.com or mail it to 12 Ann Street, AB39 2ER.

Mystery box - Can you help?

Sir- I have a small inlaid, mahogany box inscribed: Miss Herd, Y.W.C.A., Bervie 1906.

Looking at past past census lists it could refer to an Annie Herd. Can anyone help me with any details of whom it might be and any history associated with her?

Thank you for in anticipation of your help.

Yours etc.,

Janet Marshall (Mrs)





Supermarket - Please check your facts

Sir- I thank Mrs Bruce for providing me with the opportunity to explain the outcome of BP Oil (UK)’s proposals to redevelop their Mill Inn site, which included the provision of a BP Connect Simply Food store incorporating a Wild Bean Café.

I did indeed submit an objection to their planning application.

I did not, however, object to the principle of the development but to certain aspects of it.

In fact, my objection to the original 2008 plans began with a statement expressing my support for BP’s move to enhance the location by providing a larger retail unit and replacing the scruffy and dilapidated existing facility.

Also, in a letter to the Leader I recorded my enthusiasm for the plan, describing the proposed retail development as positive and a good idea.

In my 2009 submission to BP’s revised plan I asked councillors if they would ensure that light pollution was kept to a minimum, HGVs could manoeuvre safely in and out of the proposed three island starter gate arrangement and that the opening hours were not extended beyond those existing at the time.

I also asked the councillors to request that BP consider relocating and/or reducing the number of car wash/valet bays.

I did not object to the provision of a larger retail unit on the site.

As the normal planning application process, which included a site visit by councillors, progressed, my concerns were satisfactorily addressed and I was pleased when planning permission was granted in November 2009.

In October 2011 BP’s agents wrote to Aberdeenshire Council withdrawing the planning application because BP had sold the site along with a number of other similar ones it owned in the area to another company (not an oil major) who then sub let it to a management company.

In other words, it was a commercial decision taken a multi-national conglomerate and not, as Mrs Bruce implies, my objection to the proposed redevelopment of the Mill Inn filling station site that prevented the town benefitting from a relatively large retail unit which would have offered more choice to the people of Stonehaven and challenged the Co-op’s monopoly.

By not checking her facts before taking a cheap swipe at me, Mrs Bruce has by association impugned the integrity of the other dozen or so Stonehaven residents who objected not to the principle of the development but to the same elements of the plan as I did. In my view, she owes them an apology.

If, as Mrs Bruce asserts, my actions leave me open to the charge of nimbyism, then surely the same accusation must be levelled at the community council, democratically elected to represent the views of the people of Stonehaven, which objected on very similar grounds to BP’s plans for the Mill Inn.

Yours etc.,

Douglas Samways

address supplied

Poetic appeal - Hands off our harbour

The following poem about Stonehaven Harbour was submitted to us by Ian Balgowan.

‘‘Did you know Stonehaven’s harbour is now under threat?

This could be the worst survival challenge it has ever met,

The quaint traditional harbour will be fighting for it’s life,

It will need active protesters against this predicated strife.

The enemy is a proposed marina it’s really hard to believe,

Just hearing what’s suggested will surely make you grieve,

Now what they intend doing I’m afraid is not really clever,

The character of this unique harbour will be lost forever.

We’ll have security gates and padlocks all galvanised to last,

It will also have rise and fall pontoons to hold the yachts fast,

Sea gates in middle harbour to keep water at a certain level,

Them that dreamed up this must be possessed by the Devil.

Stoney is no Island paradise on Scotland’s North-east coast,

It’s liable to winter gales and sea storms when it plays host,

Sea storms beats all defences regardless of what you’ve got,

Expensive yachts in their path they can easily wreck the lot.

You see this influential marina people carry plenty of clout,

I can see them not being happy till the locals are turfed out,

I thought the Scottish Heritage would put their oar in here,

To back the heart beat of the Auld Toon we all hold so dear.

This project has to be stoped regardless how it’s founded,

If it’s nipped in the bud it could be well and truly grounded,

Harbour supporters must rally round to show how they feel,

To save this insane idea going ahead and prevent a big steal.

The town has two tourist attractions known far and wide,

Dunnottar Castle and the harbour we hold both with pride,

As the stories of these two attractions is well and truly told,

To descend the Bervie Braes the Harbour’s a sight to behold.

Save our harbour now has a champion I can see

He’s the battle scarred warrior by the name of Sweet P,

Fighting for Status Quo, knocking the wind out of their sails,

Let’s hope for a happy outcome and common sense prevails.

November 2014.

A937/A90 - Dangerous junction

Sir- I believe you are after local opinions about the Laurencekirk south A90 junction.

In my view, the current junction is too dangerous to continue in its present format and should be replaced by a fly over or underpass with proper sweep ons / offs.

I cannot understand why the Scottish Government are waiting for more people to die before acting to improve this.

Yours etc.,

James Hirst