Opinion split on supermarket

SINCE it was lodged at the beginning of the month, the application for a supermarket on the outskirts of Newton Stewart has racked up 16 comments with the planning department.

Of the 16, three have been made public on the council’s website.

Jim McCulloch, from Whit­horn, says: “This is what the town and surrounding area has been looking for.”

On the other hand, Patricia Woodley from Dalry strongly objects on the grounds that it will take shoppers away from “a small vibrant market town with a busy shopping main street”. She feels “boarded up shops could lead to vandalism and dereliction”.

She continues: “If the new supermarket was allowed to sell fuel, then the existing petrol stations would close. This would lead to higher prices for fuel once competition was removed. At the moment Newtown [sic] Stewart has the lowest fuel prices in the region! Also as the supermarket would sell other goods, now on sale in individual shops, this would cause further closures and loss of jobs. It has been established that there is a lack of clothes outlets for both adults and children. This could be remedied by encouraging firms to open outlets in the main street. This is very successful in Castle Douglas where three of these shops trade very well with competitive prices.”

Also giving the idea a thumbs 
down is businessman Keith McElrea. He has “a grave con­cern that if this goes ahead, in five years Victoria Street will have nothing other than charity shops, cafes and hairdressers”.

The application, from devel­oper CWP, is for the erection of a class 1 food retail unit, petrol filling station, car wash, formation of vehicular access and car parking.