Comment posted Helensburgh retailers full of positivity – for town centre Waitrose by PBP.
Interesting Letter to the Editor in the Herald from an East King Street resident:
The headline “Community divided over major supermarket plans” might give the impression that there is an even split in the numbers for and against a Waitrose food store (not supermarket) in an edge-of-town (not out-of-town) site in Helensburgh (The Herald, February 18).
In fact there were about 650 submissions to the council in favour and approximately 40 against.
There has also been a consultation with the people of Helensburgh as to whether a supermarket should be located on the pier. This was soundly rejected for a third time.
At the moment, many people (myself included) go to Dumbarton for our weekly food shop in order to have greater choice, but we still shop in Helensburgh from day to day. We are being given the impression by some retailers that we are there to serve them, not that they should be offering a good service.
Some of the shops involved the protest alluded to in the article sell goods such as jewellery, party items, lingerie, hardware and women’s clothing, none of which is being offered by Waitrose, but which are all readily available in Dumbarton. At times it feels that the Helensburgh public is being held to ransom by a few retailers who seem unwilling to compete.
PBP also commented
- How many accidents have there been involving children in the vicinity of this Hermitage Academy since it opened in 2008? Very few, if any, I suspect.
Yet many pupils cross the road to go to the station or because they live in South Colgrain.
Agree with Stephen about the roundabout though. It is appallingly designed, and if Waitrose goes ahead should be replaced.
- From the Community Council website: “Clearly the public have given their opinion in what is a most valuable consultation. It will enable the Community Council to:-
Respond to any planning application for a supermarket on the Pierhead site with authority.
Take part in the consultation over the projected use of the Pierhead site, again with authority.
Support the South Colgrain site application in preference to the prime site on the sequential planning test, based on public opinion clearly demonstrated.”
Clearly demonstrated will do me. I suspect that will be reflected at Tuesday’s meeting. Development in the heavily populated east end of the town does not improvement in the west end.
- Yes, two surveys, one by Sainsbury, one by Helensburgh Community Council. A large majority for Waitrose at Colgrain in both cases.
“I will not be lectured to by that man. It was upsetting and alarming” was the response of one shopper angered by the way she was canvassed by a shopkeeper.
“I have never been so angry in my life. I am seriously considering never going back to that shop” was the response of another committed town centre shopper.
These were serious responses, Dr McKenzie. Shoppers who were long-standing customers were in many cases upset and in other cases deeply upset. Someone else pointed out that, of the retailers protesting, several occupied shops all owned by the same person.
Can I congratulate you on being neutral as you do not know Helensurgh well enough, an admirable stance which others in the same position would do well to adopt.
- Actually, For Argyll, you are completely wrong on this issue — the majority of Helensburgh people want Waitrose at Colgrain. That has been very clear for weeks.
And why shouldn’t the heavily populated east end of the town have its own supermarket?
By the way, the Retailers Association campaign this week against Waitrose at Colgrain has backfired badly, as some of them now realise.
Town centre shoppers, most of whom would remain town centre shoppers apart from occasional visits to Waitrose, have been harangued and in some cases frightened by the shopkeepers campaign, and some I know are proposing to avoid those shops in future whatever the outcome.
Mr Hoskins may be a very eminent architect, but his fancy drawings of space age structures are completely irrelevant. Let’s have Waitrose at Colgrain and get on with planning attainable improvements to the town centre which will retain its character but improve what it has to offer.
Recent comments by PBP
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Heaven help us — Mars Mulvaney is back. Just typical he did not keep his fellow Tories in the loop.
Surely his first job, especially in the light of the utter chaos in the town centre because of the start of the CHORD project works, is to clear up the parking problems in John Street between West Clyde Street and West Princes Street.
Yes, outside the garage where he works.
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Tripe indeed. What makes you think Rosneath, the Gareloch, Cove and Kilcreggan are industrialised landscapes? They all fall into the scenic landscapes and seascapes that you and we all want to protect.
We fought off oil rig construction at Portkil. This would be even more obtrusive to far more people and areas, and all for economic benefits which generally are heavily weighted in favour of the commercial interests involved in construction and running of windfarms.
And of course a certain Mr Salmond likes wind farms.
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Helensburgh has the same problem, and already this month three more shops have announced closure — all blaming the Council’s business rates.
But to my mind the problem is parking. We will not the footfall until Council car parks are free, as in Dumbarton and, I believe, a certain Lochgilphead.
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The link to the Comet website still does not work.
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Great start for the new administration and James Robb in particular. The previous proposal for Colquhoun Square was horrendous and would have made the place look like a deserted runway for much of the time. It was also a recipe for traffic and transport chaos.
Good luck with the informal consultation. What is needed is a smartening up of what currently exists, most especially the awful and highly dangerous roads and pavements. Do keep the Comet lamps, but some of them need refurbished.
When you have finished all that, make daytime enforcement of the parking regulations in lower John Street a priority.
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