Now lunch time in the Victoria Halls. …

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

Now lunch time in the Victoria Halls. It is a full house. Looks like it could run into this evening as the previous supermarket application did about 10 years ago.

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.

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

Recent comments by Councillor George Freeman

  • Meeting of interested parties on A83 makes Oliver Twist move on Transport Minister
    As the Rest and Be Thankful is in my Lomond North electoral ward, I was surprised to read about this meeting which I had no knowledge of. Firstly, we need to remember that, although there are landslips beyond the Rest in the Cowal Ward in Argyll, the major problems with land slips are on the Rest itself, which is part of my Lomond North Ward, which also falls within the Arrochar & Tarbet Community Council area. Having said that, it has been the norm over recent years for local Ward councillors and the Community Council to be ignored when the problems at the Rest are being discussed.
    Following the report on For Argyll, I tried to contact the other two ward councillors to confirm if they had been invited to the meeting. As I was told yesterday that Councillor Corry was currently in Sweden and was not available, I contacted Councillor Robert G MacIntyre, who also happens to be the Council’s Deputy Lead Councillor for Roads Issues, to ask if he was aware of the meeting. Councillor MacIntyre confirmed that he was contacted late on Thursday by Council staff to ask if he could attend the meeting. Given that the meeting was being held the next morning (Friday) at 10.30 am, this clearly gave him no time to consult with other ward councillors or the Community Council on what was due to be discussed. Given the short notice, it appears that the late invitation to Councillor MacIntyre to attend Friday’s meeting was an afterthought. How could Councillor MacIntyre be expected to speak on behalf of Argyll & Bute Council when he had not been given the opportunity to consult with the Council on the issues that were due to be discussed?
    Most people tend to forget that the Rest and Be Thankful is NOT in Michael Russell’s Argyll & Bute constituency but is in Jackie Baillie’s Dumbarton constituency. Having contacted Jackie Baillie yesterday, she has confirmed to me that she “had not heard about the meeting”. I wonder what Michael Russell’s reaction would be if Jackie Baillie arranged a meeting in Arrochar to discuss an issue that was of major importance to Michael Russell and his constituents but did not give him the courtesy of an invitation or even informing him of the meeting? I doubt if Mr Russell would be been very happy.
    It appears to me that the Scottish Government is still not taking the problems at the Rest seriously and are determined to spend as little as possible to try and keep the residents and businesses of Argyll & Bute happy. Would this sort of response be acceptable if this was happening in the central belt? I believe that it certainly would not be acceptable and that the Scottish Government would throw as much money at it as was required to resolve the problem. There again, I am sure that some of those in power think that this is only Argyll, a remote rural area with a small population which does not justify the expenditure required to provide a permanent solution to this problem.
    We have heard in the past that there was no money allocated in the Scottish Government’s capital programme to provide a permanent solution at the Rest. That may have been acceptable within the three year spending review period at that time, but could not justify the Scottish Government failing to make provision within the new 3 year spending review period.
  • Argyl and Bute Councillors in trouble for non-payment of – Council Tax
    For the avoidance of any doubt, and to reassure my constituents, I can confirm that I am NOT one of the councillors referred to in the Sunday Post yesterday as having had Council Tax arrears.

    My Council Tax has always been payed on time and I have never been in arrears with Council Tax or any other payments to the Council. That reduces the number of councillors in Argyll & Bute to 35 that the Sunday Post could have been referring to.

  • Pro-indy Sunday Herald seen utterly to concoct smear on Labour
    Neil, given the report in the Sunday Herald, it would appear that, in their opinion, you are now Leader of the Council? Either that, or it is down to the poor quality of the reporting in the Sunday Herald who obviously do not check their facts before running with a story.

    It is good to note how disciplined and united your Group is within the Council under your leadership.

  • Council by-election result: Labour takes first seat in Argyll and Bute Council since 1999
    Warmest congratulations to Neil MacIntyre for a successful campaign. I look forward to working constructively with him over the next three years.

    We will now have four MacIntyres on the Council which will no doubt cause a bit more confusion. I just wonder if we will have another MacIntyre standing in the upcoming by-election in Ward 5 – Oban North and Lorn to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Louise Glen-Lee?

  • Will Argyll and Bute Council change its name?
    Question, on that basis, Argyll no longer exists so why are we using it and why are folk promoting it?

powered by SEO Super Comments

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Ma.gnolia
  • NewsVine
  • StumbleUpon
  • SphereIt
  • Reddit
  • Slashdot
  • Print

37 Responses to Now lunch time in the Victoria Halls. …

  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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


All the latest comments (including yours) straight to your mailbox, everyday! Click here to subscribe.