Stonehaven Town Partnership explain their ‘Plan B’ with a public exhibition

STP Douglas Samways at the exhibition on Wednesday
STP Douglas Samways at the exhibition on Wednesday

Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP)’s ‘Plan B’ meeting in the Town Hall last night (Wednesday) was expected to be very busy .

Just before the Mearns Leader and Kincardineshire Observer went to press yesterday, we managed to obtain pictures and details from the exhibition which was held during the day prior to the meeting.

Stonehaven Town Partnership have this impression of looking along the redeveloped sea-front

Stonehaven Town Partnership have this impression of looking along the redeveloped sea-front

At the exhibition, STP explained what their ‘Plan B’ was, describing it as ‘a discussion, ‘an idea,’ ‘long-term vision’ and ‘a way to ensure the future of the town centre.’

STP said ‘Plan B’ wasn’t “a planning application, a proposed planning application, or a bid,” and neither was it “developer-led or backed,’’ or ‘‘a plan to decimate the town’s recreational facilities.’’

The STP exhbition board read: “The council is on the verge of making a big decision that could affect the town, it’s future and that of the town centre. STP simply wants a full discussion before big decisions are made.”

Included in the exhibition was a re-imagined site plan for the recreation ground with a retail centre which incorporated recreation facilities.

Minister of Dunnottar and Stonehaven South Churches, Rosslyn Duncan, chaired the evening event.

STP said that the meeting was designed to provide an opportunity for Stonehaven residents, business owners and other interested parties to have an open conversation about what type of development would best suit the town, and examine potential solutions that have not yet been examined.

The council released a statement last Thursday seeking to clarify local understanding of recent decisions taken by councillors in relation to the possible provision of a supermarket in Stonehaven.

The local authority have said that a postcard circulated by Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) suggested the council had re-opened consultation on the issue, which they said was not the case.

Planning Policy team leader, Piers Blaxter, added: “This issue has a long history, and Aberdeenshire Council acknowledges there is a deficit in convenience shopping provision in the town.

“In terms of the local retail hierarchy a town the size of Stonehaven could be expected to host a supermarket. This situation has persisted for some years and resulted in the allocation of a site at Spurryhillock being identified for such a use in the last Local Development Plan.

“We took the opportunity to raise supermarket shopping as a “main issue” in our most recent consultation on the emerging Local Development Plan, and this topic featured prominently in a public meeting held in Stonehaven in November 2013.

‘‘It is incorrect to say that we have decided to ‘re-examine’ the decision to back an edge-of–Stonehaven bid for retail and commercial development. We have not agreed to undertake any further consultation and are content that we have a clear instruction from ISC as to the content of the plan on this matter. We are happy to support STP in its aspirations to inform future debates and, in particular, any representation made by those with an interest in supermarket shopping in Stonehaven to the content of the Proposed Plan when it is published.”