So where did the recent survey majorities FOR …

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

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?

newsroom also commented

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Brian Wilson on Clyde and Hebridean Ferry Services tender
    You are quite right about the number and degree of confusions in this area.
    We are preparing an article for publication which, amongst other things which are quite an eye-opener, will clarify these positions.
  • Lysblink Seaways off the rocks at Kilchoan
    This does make rather a nonsense of the early decision to send Herakles back to Kirkwall before she even got to Ardnamurchan – because Kingdom of Fife was within 20 miles of Lysblink Seaways.
    Hard to see what the role is for Herakles here at this stage.
  • Russell offers to meet Council administration to discuss Castle Toward
    It has to be said that this is now into ‘flogging a dead horse’ territory.
    Of course there is perceived political advantage at play [this is politics and they all do it] – but continually reheating it is an error of judgment and does the members of SCCDC no favours.
    They need to be allowed to refocus in whatever way they see themselves shaping their own future – and ‘differently’ is as likely to be better as worse.
    But first of all, as human beings, they need a break to recharge. Their efforts have been unceasing.
  • Brian Wilson on Clyde and Hebridean Ferry Services tender
    It would be good to stick to the issue of Brian Wilson’s piece rather than tack on other infrastructural issues that merit attention in their own right. We have provided opportunity for that in various articles on Prestwick and will do so again.
    No one could present evidence to contradict Rob Trythall’s case that there is no business plan for Prestwick – because no such business plan exists. [Nor is there a business plan - economic development strategy - for Scotland.]
    However, well below the strategic muscle of a business plan, there was serious merit in the Scottish Government’s recent proposal to have Prestwick designated as the UK’s reception airport for incoming and outgoing flights experiencing difficulties necessitating premature landing.
    The point was that this would then not cause hold ups at the big UK hub airports with delays and re routings of other flights; and Prestwick could develop specialist facilities for dealing with the range of such emergencies – which could include the hijackings we hope not to experience.
    But for the moment, the CHFS tender is a major issue affecting the entire west coast mainland and island archipelago of Scotland.
    We will not lose sight of Prestwick and will very much welcome your input to that challenging major issue so important to the complex and wonderful Ayrshire. Until then, we would equally welcome your thoughts on the issues Brian Wilson is highlighting here.

    .

  • The black arts of political spin betray SNP fears in Argyll & Bute
    First the hard evidence: if the Conservatives thought they had a chance of taking the seat, Argyll and Bute would be a target seat – it is not; and party central would be funding the local campaign – it is not.
    Then, in the interests of objective fairness, no one has accused – and no one could accuse – Alan Reid of having his nose in any trough. He is marked by prudence, modesty and carefulness. He has been written off before and has won with a good majority. He may well do so again, albeit with a smaller majority as votes are more widely spread.
    This time he has the added strength, if elected, of being a guaranteed conduit to government if we do end up with a hung parliament. We see this as, surprisingly, becoming less certain by the day; but if the pundits are correct and we do indeed get a hung parliament, the Lib Dems are 100% certain to be part of it, whatever the number of seats they achieve.
    In Argyll and Bute, no other candidate can offer this certainty and Mr Reid finds himself with an unexpected but undoubtedly welcome following breeze.

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37 Responses to So where did the recent survey majorities FOR …

  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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