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

  • When is Council going to replace the A814′s missing warning for HGVs?
    As the article makes clear – large vehicles canot be prevented from using it because there will always be a genuine need for such vehicles to access a place or a property somewhere along that road.
    But a clear ‘limitation of use’ notice puts the onus on drivers and gives Police Scotland’s traffic division reason to stop inquire and act accordingly.
    Making the road one way for large vehicles, say south to north, would allow such access, deter casual convenience use by such vehicles and prevent stalemates when two meet.
  • State Guardians / Named Persons a situation out of control
    We accept that this latest story is correct.
    However, an earlier one – that of a family fleeing the Highlands and movong to Edinburgh had so many questions – like the age of the boy concerned; and the fact that Edinburgh is nor necessarily free of state guardians as local authorities in that area were licensed to conduct pilot implementations of the system. Since the government intention is to implement the measure across Scotland, Edinburgh – if the family are not currently living in a place where pilot state guardianships are in train, Edinburgh can offer only short term sanctuary. The boy, we understand may have now reached normal maturity. Given that the state guardian measure was introduced by statute in 2014, the family’s move cannot have taken place much before this time.
    Examples with no more than a peripheral – and even questionable – relationship to the generality of the impact of the state guardian imposition cannot serve to clarify the core abuses this system inflicts on the great majority of safe, loving and responsible families.
    We had first nighlioghtd the ‘Edinburgh move’ story but when we interrogated fully its detail e withdrew the article and made our position clear.
    Nothing gains from insecure tactical claims.
    This is not a tactical issue. It is a moral and political one and its hits at the heart of the sort of family life most of us have been fortunate to enjoy.
    There are far less needlessly damaging, more easily and less expensively achievable means of protecting the fewer [but not few children] who are at risk.
    The Scottish Government introduced covert pilot implementations of this measure despite having assured the concerned Scottish Parliament that there would be no implementations without further consultation.
    It is to the Parliament’s profound discredit that, on so serious a socially transformative matter, it did not make a sustained attempt to hold the government to account on this.
  • State Guardians / Named Persons a situation out of control
    We have used the word ‘fascist’ on some occasions to describe similar undemocratic interventions achieved by force majeure.
    People object to that as well – because everyone imagines fascism and fascists only exist elsewhere, somewhere else.
    However, you might find ‘fascist’ a more accurate and wholly defensible descriptor of your judgment of this particular intervention.
    The OED says of ;fasism’:
    ‘Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.’
  • Oban Bay Marine – and its 52 paid-up business supporters – go public for Oban’s marina
    The plan for the transit marina has kayak steps built into the town-facing shoreside rock armour, to support local kayak teaching and expedition businesses.
  • Oban Bay Marine – and its 52 paid-up business supporters – go public for Oban’s marina
    It is indeed a very serious issue.
    With public funding about to tighten again for a few years and with Argyll’s falling population and inept economic development unable to attract more substantial state funding, getting that £2m spent on the transit marina and seeing it up and working for the 2016 season really is Oban’s last chance for a decade to get new energy and an earner to carry it over and build for the future.

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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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