This could be said to be an almost …

Comment posted Waitrose has £325k on table for Tuesday planning hearing – and opposition rolls in by newsroom.

This could be said to be an almost perfect line up of the numpties. Authoritative? Hardly. But no doubt it will be sufficient, along with a side dish of pak choi.

newsroom also commented

  • We understand that it is practically unheard of for Councillor Danny Kelly, who is chairing the hearing, to overturn the planners’ recommendation. If he were to do so on this occasion, it would be strange.
  • So where did the recent survey majorities FOR a retail development on the pier head come from – as quoted by Sainsburys in the letter we have published?
  • Lowry – as you must know, we are a very small team with a huge amount of work to do and we cannot keep absolutely on top of everything.

    We haven’t forgotten about this matter and we will be pursuing it.

    You gave us a smile at the suggestion that this – or anything – might be ‘too political’ for us. Hardly our MO.

Recent comments by newsroom

  • And the 2014 Kilberry Scarecrow winners are…
    Apologies. We must have missed the Thorley family one. We saw only one Clyde.
    If you have a photograph of the prizewinning Clyde and would email it to us at: lm.henderson@powdermills.com we wold be delighted to publish the Thorley creation.
  • Better Together still clueless – and about to do more harm
    Nothing could ever persuade me to support one of the most irresponsible, deceiving and divisive campaigns I had imagined possible in the developed world in the 21st century.
    This doesn’t mean that I or For Argyll would therefore talk up the undeserving opposing campaign – which is lazy, complacent, unfocused, tedious, unexciting, internally riven, leaderless, directionless and pointless.
    The only fun has been the opportunist Northern and Western Isles seizing the chance to negotiate for greater devolution for themselves, whatever the outcome of the referendum.
    I will personally vote for Scotland to stay in the Union, because I have come to believe that this is the best thing for Scotland – and for the union – not just the safest option but the one with the longest legs for the future.
    What I then want to see is Scotland taking the United Kingdom by the scruff of its moribund neck and leading a root and branch reform of the shape and operation of the politics of a union too important and too valuable to let go; but that needs to work very differently to be in a position to develop and implement strategic and sustained economic development that never loses sight of social justice.
    Pipe dreaming, of course – but no one should ever settle for an obviously unachievable sales pitch in the hope that it will all turn out OK in the end. It won’t.
    Why have the intelligence that distinguishes us from other species – and choose to neuter it?
    Today’s world is not a place for narrow parochial nationalism unable to tolerate difference. It has been disturbing to see the attitudes and practices that have emerged in this campaign – and on the nationalist side – to silence, to bully and to punish those who genuinely think differently – as they are democratically entitled to do.
    I confess to noticing myself yesterday editing to protect the interests of a business whose scarecrow entry in the Kilberry festival [for God's sake] – was likely to bring the cybergnat stingers from all over the place on their heads. So I didn’t mention the entry or the business or display the photograph of it that I had taken. We are not a free society at the moment and I genuinely worry how much worse it will get if we vote ‘Yes’ and this mindset rules the roost.
    Lynda
  • Indy and the Monarchy
    The EU has a lot to answer for in the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine – and, at root, much of this responsibility lies with the UK and the helpless patsy Gordon Brown pushed to have wildly overpromoted to the level of the EU’s first Foreign Affairs Minister.
    The territorial games that the EU has played with Ukraine, in offering seductions, has given them reason to imagine that they may do less than negotiate with Russia – where there are indisputably serious issues with large ethnic Russian communities in eastern Ukraine who do not appear to be treated equitably – and that thier new friends will come to their aid if necessary.
    If Ukraine imagines that any one of the western states busily stoking anti-Russian international opinion, they will find themselves out on a limb with absolutely none of these states coming to their aid. Such an action is easily capable of tipping the world into conflict the like of which we have not seen – for what?
    We’ll be lucky if a cold war is the worst that emerges from the actions of the current clutch of inexperienced irresponsibles – and that includes John Kerry and William Hague.
  • Indy and the Monarchy
    Speaking personally, it’s hard to disagree with this.
    Lynda
  • Clyde RIver ferry: Business Scotland interview with CalMac’s Martin Dorchester
    Bit of a ‘Doh’ moment. Confess to having forgotten that it’s an amphibian simply because of knowing it only as taking off and landing on the water.
    Being on the tarmac at Glasgow would make it a very seductive experience for both golf and scenery packages.

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37 Responses to This could be said to be an almost …

  1. Helensburgh has rejected a supermarket on the pier three times in the past decade. How many more times do you need to hear it?

    That being the case, the rest of your argument falls. I am beginning to think we need a For Helensburgh website, leaving you to concentrate on the old Argyll area where you are clearly better informed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • It is about For Argyll itself, which in many respects I admire but which does not seem to have much of a clue about Helensburgh.

      This morning at the hearing it was made clear, through various surveys, that thousands were in favour of Waitrose at Colgrain, and that there was a roughly 55-45 split against a pier supermarket.

      Yet For Argyll has consistently claimed the opposite in both cases.

      Today there is a huge attendance of Waitrose supporters and, so far, six objectors have put their heads above the parapet.

      Interestingly, the only person booed this morning was the representative of Helensburgh Retailers Association.

      If I was the editor of For Argyll, at this point I would be questioning the quality of the reporting.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. For Argyll don’t seem to understand my area either. Folk here are still waiting to learn the membership make up of the Easdale Island charity, Eilean Eisdeal, and how the money was spent from the Scottish Gas Green Streets award. For Argyll claimed that this information should be in the public domain – so where is it? We seem to have been forgotten or FA aren’t interested in persuing this further. Perhaps they’re not bothered about the rights of folk here, or is it too political?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Lowry – as you must know, we are a very small team with a huge amount of work to do and we cannot keep absolutely on top of everything.

      We haven’t forgotten about this matter and we will be pursuing it.

      You gave us a smile at the suggestion that this – or anything – might be ‘too political’ for us. Hardly our MO.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Copied from URTV’s Facebook page:

    Final count is 693 letters of support to the council for Waitrose and 137 letters against, including a petition. There were also 7 miscellaneous letters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Same source again – URTV:

    The Council Planning Department and Waitrose have both spoken. The Planning Department say that the effects on the town centre could have been grossly underestimated by Waitrose’s retail impact survey and that they are maintaining that they recommend refusal of the application.

    Waitrose still believe that the effects on the town centre will be negligible and they can mitigate them. Waitrose spokesperson, Martin Gorman, received a big round of applause for saying Helensburgh is crying out for a good quality food store.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. I could be wrong. But I think they made an exception for Henry Bros at Colgrain, which was greenbelt outwith the local development plan. That seemed strange at the time. Probably a large brown envelope involved there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. From URTV again:

    ‎30 pro Waitrose representatives have spoken, including Councillor Vivien Dance and Community Councilman Nigel Harman. Now it’s over to the objectors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. We cope with bin collections once a week (or even fortnightly) so how about fancy supermarket visits once a week? – a Waitrose on a seagoing barge, serving the west coast – say from Helensburgh to Fort William, stopping off at Dunoon, Rothesay, Campbeltown, Oban, Fort William – and maybe Tobermory and Port Ellen alternate weeks. Just dreaming. At Helensburgh it would tie up at the pier, of course. The supermarket aisles would be cushioned with giant airbags to keep everything shipshape on passage, and maybe even giant gimbals would be effective.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Bruce Marshall has stated that he will support the application if a competent amendment can be brought forward. David Kinniburgh has stated that he will be doing the same. Robin Currie has stated that he hopes the application will be approved but the mitigation is insufficient. He is looking for an additional £420k in mitigation for various items. Neil McKay also looking to support it if an amendment can be put together but needs more mitigation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Alex McNaughton has also confirmed his support along with Gordon Chalmers. It is now clear that it will be approved if a competent motion / amendment can be put together.
    Cllr McAlister has also indicated support along with Cllr Devon, Cllr McMillan and Cllr McQueen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Pingback: Argyll News: RIP Helensburgh town centre: Waitrose out of town location approved | For Argyll

  11. A long hot day, but full marks to the Helensburgh area public for their active participation.

    The right result too, so long as Waitrose are not put off by the vastly increased ‘mitigation payment’.

    On a wider stage, Government should be looking at how such payments, which are pure and simple bribery, could be regulated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • I thought ‘mitigation’ in the context of a supermarket proposal meant meeting the cost of any extra roadworks, pedestrian crossings etc made necessary by the extra traffic generated by the development. I’d like to know if some councillors took a more elastic view of the meaning of the word.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. I’m sure they won’t be put off by the mitigation payment. In all probability there will be negotiations over the purchase price between drum & waitrose. The application was made under two names – Waitrose & Wandering Wild (aka drum). It is highly likely that there is an agreement between drum and waitrose, where waitrose purchase the land subject to planning approval. This allows them to attach caveats re planning gain / mitigation payments. It will probably be drum who take a hit on the price. They’ll be aware that without planning approval their land is worthless. I actually think planning gain is a good thing. Just as long as it reaches the intended parties and not the council coffers, which sadly often happens.

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  13. I’d like to see the money used to directly improve the retailers units / frontages. I’ve attached a link to the merchant city initiative below, which completely transformed that area.
    http://glasgowmerchantcity.net/regeneration.html
    I’m pleased Waitrose got their approval. Had Waitrose been rejected, then all that would have happened is a continuation of the current decline of the town centre. That decline is due to the apathy of a lot of shop keepers. Either the shopkeepers take this opportunity to get their fair share of mitigation money to improve the service that they provide. Or they sell up and allow the next generation of shopkeepers to take over. I’m sure like me, the majority of Helensburgh shoppers do not want to soley shop in Waitrose. To me the Waitrose development has always been about a high end outlet recognising the potential and wanting to invest in our town, which will hopefully be a catalyst for further investment in the town centre.

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