PROPOSALS for a new supermarket and filling station on land at Barnkirk, Newton Stewart are due to be submitted within a fortnight.
CWP, the company working for the potential developers, say they hope the application will be considered by autumn and that comments made for and against the plans will be used as part of their appeal.
James Harbison of CWP told the Gazette this week: “We will be putting the finishing touches to the application in the next week or so and hope to have it submitted at some point during the second half of May.”
A Facebook page set up by CWP is being closely monitored to take into consideration what townsfolk want and Mr Harbison said these comments will be gathered to form part of their consultation documents.
He added: “Everything mentioned on Facebook is being collated and used in the submission. With regards to whether the comments will count towards what the store eventually contains, this is likely to be something taken further by whichever operator takes over as we have seen happen in other place with focus groups and consultations.
“However, it’s clear there is a strong desire for clothing and other non-food products in Newton Stewart. We will be seeking planning permission for an all-product store, but the eventual ranges will be decided later by the operator.”
Mr Harbison and his team have also accepted an invitation to speak at Garlieston Community Council on 5 June.
So far, the Facebook page has more than 300 ‘likes’ and is receiving opinions from both sides.
Scores of comments simply ask for an Asda store to come to town and others explain that they can no longer afford to travel to outlying towns for shopping and fuel, and are being forced to pay for expensive products which don’t fit their requirements.
Janette Hyslop wrote: “It would be great to have a supermarket in Newton Stewart that not only sold food stuff but clothes for all ages and electrical items, dvds and perhaps even games for Xbox, playstations too. There is nowhere in Newton to get these sorts of items which is crazy due to the fact most people have to travel to Dumfries, Ayr, Girvan or do online shopping (which not everyone can do).”
But others claim the shop will kill the town, such as Bobby McCleary who said: “I had a business in Castle Douglas up until last year. Before Tesco came to town Castle Douglas was busy (and still is up to a point) and many people travelled to do their shopping on King Street. Now, even more people come to town but only go to Tesco get everything they need there.
They don’t have to come down onto King St any longer. You see, Tesco dont like the little shops having customers so what do they do? They stock their sheds with simular products or possibly the same and sell at half the price.”