In the final straight now. Cllr McCuish …

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

In the final straight now. Cllr McCuish has confirmed his support as has Cllr Reay. We only await the views of the Chair.

Councillor George Freeman also commented

  • Cllr Reay now moving a motion to approve the application. Now reading it out to obtain confirmation if it is competent or not. Now seconded by the Chair – Cllr Kelly.

    Application has been approved.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Summing up now complete. Now moving on to the PPSLC members debating the issue before the decision is taken. It looks like it will be an approval but watch this space.
  • Summing up now underway.

Recent comments by Councillor George Freeman

  • An unexpected pairing to email in Day 8′s Save Castle Toward Advent Calendar
    Newsroom, not that I am aware of.
  • An unexpected pairing to email in Day 8′s Save Castle Toward Advent Calendar
    Unfortunately South Cowal Community Development Company have the information on their campaigning Advent Calendar wrong. I am not a member of the Council’s Policy & Resources Committee so will have no say in the decision relating to Castle Toward. I can also confirm that Councillor McQueen is not a member of that committee so like me, he has no say in the decision relating to the Castle Toward decision.

    Unfortunately this means that those taking the time and effort to contact me or any other Councillor who is not a member of the Policy & Resouces Committee are wasting their time. The SCCDC should have checked that they had their facts correct before publishing this calender as they are providing misleading information to the public. If any member of the public wishes to confirm those councillors who are memers of the Policy & Resources Committee, that information is available on the Council website.

  • Castle Toward: Councillor Breslin asks straight questions of Council Leader Walsh
    I am a bit confused (some may say that is not difficult) as the start of the report above states that: “Following a meeting of the South Cowal Community Development Company last night” yet the comments from Cllr Breslin refer to a meeting of the Community Council. can someone please clarify who held the meeting please?
  • Cut to the chase on Castle Toward: blatant case for intervention under land reform
    Mike, it certainly is not a paper transaction. It is hard cash. The District Valuer has placed a value on Castle Toward that the purchaser would be expected to pay to the Council.

    The proposed purchaser has asked the Council to knock £1 million of the valuation which would mean that the Council would receive £1 million less. There are no repayments involved in any of this. We are talking about one big hard cash payment to the Council from the proposed purchaser. I hope that this is clear.

  • Cut to the chase on Castle Toward: blatant case for intervention under land reform
    Hi Integrity, the information I have on appeals states that: Should you (or the CB) be unhappy with the valuation, an appeals procedure is available (section 62 of the Act). An appeal against the valuation should be made to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland within 21 days from when the valuer intimates the valuation (section 62(2) of the Act).

    The appeal hearing should begin not later than 4 months from the first sitting day after the
    appeal is lodged (section 62(5) of the Act). The Lands Tribunal for Scotland (LTS) has 4 weeks from the conclusion of the appeal hearing to intimate its decision (section 62(7) of the Act).

    The Lands Tribunal for Scotland may reassess the valuation and substitute its own for that of the appointed valuer. The valuation determined by the LTS is the price the CB will pay to purchase the land unless a different price is agreed by yourself and the CB.

    If a valuer attends the appeal hearing on behalf of Ministers, the Scottish Government will meet the costs. You should be aware that the Ministers are not a competent party to any appeal as they only appoint the valuer
    (section 62(9) of the Act). If you call the valuer to appear as a witness on your behalf, any costs will not be met by the Scottish Government.

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37 Responses to In the final straight now. Cllr McCuish …

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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