‘No site ticks all the boxes’

Stonehaven Harbour
Stonehaven Harbour

Proposals to include a site at Mains of Cowie for development of a supermarket in the next Local Plan have been rejected.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee decided at a meeting last Thursday not to back the plans, which had been supported by local councillors.

The decision was taken not to include the Mains of Cowie bid in a draft of the Local Development Plan, meaning that there is now no designated area for a supermarket in the town.

At the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meeting in May, it was agreed by councillors that Stewart Milne’s bid for a supermarket at the Mains of Cowie site was the best site.

Commenting on a post on the Mearns Leader Facebook page, infrastructure services committee member and North Kincardine Councillor Ian Mollison said: “Fellow local councillor Carl Nelson and I put forward the view of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee that this site (Mains of Cowie) be included in the local development plan.

“The supermarket would be tucked up beside the railway line. However we were outvoted by nine votes to two.

“The outcome is that no site is now earmarked for a major supermarket in Stonehaven.

‘‘All the councillors on the committee had been lobbied by local residents who were opposed to the proposal, as they were entitled to do.

“What happens next is anybody’s guess.

‘‘No doubt the developers who have various sites in mind around the town will put their point of view to the Scottish Government’s reporter (a civil servant) who will make the final decision. That’s the way it works. The big problem is that none of the sites ticks all of the boxes.”

Dr Rachel Shanks, Stonehaven Green Party spokesperson who had written to the Mearns Leader prior to the decision being made, said she approved .

She added: “I welcome the sensible action of the council’s infrastructure services committee in overturning a very strange decision by the area committee.”

The local development plan is the key document against which all planning applications are judged.