MONTROSIANS have reacted positively to Sainsbury’s revised plans to open their first Angus store in Montrose during one of the most successful consultations the company has run.
The attendance was up in three figures at Friday’s public exhibition in the Old and St Andrew’s Church hall, and by the halfway point more than 100 people had viewed the proposals on display.
These included a full ground plan layout of the store and its associated car park and landscaping, and members of the Sainsbury’s development team were on hand to answer any queries raised.
The public also had the opportunity to submit their comments in writing.
Dougal Hartley, Sainsbury’s development manager, said the entire exercise had been “really positive”.
He continued: “If you get 100 on a day it’s great and this is one of the best attended consultations I’ve been to. We had more than 50 in the first hour-and-a-half alone.
“We’ve had a lot of local residents in and at the moment most seem to be worried about the state of the site, with people fly-tipping. We don’t own it at the moment, it still belongs to Muir Homes but we asked them to do a clear-up which they did a couple of weeks ago.
“Generally people seem to be in favour of it and are happy there will be more choice in the town.”
Sainsbury’s submitted revised plans for the Brechin Road store to Angus Council in mid-March. These now include a smaller store of 22,500 sq ft with 190 car parking spaces, instead of 172, to help meet planning policy, along with some additional tree planting and soft landscaping.
The company predicts the store will create up to 200 full and part-time jobs for local people, as well as support food and drink suppliers in the area. It has also said the project will create construction jobs, representing a spin-off to the wider Angus economy.
Mr Hartley said the revised proposals are due to be considered by Angus Council’s development standards committee in either May or June. If and when construction goes ahead, he expects some of the work to be sub-contracted locally.
He said: “If that goes well we could have planning permission by the summer and construction starting on site in the autumn.
“All being well we could be open in late spring or summer next year. In terms of recruiting, we would be looking to recruit in late summer.
“All supermarkets now are pretty good with local sourcing and our buying team will be looking for suppliers in Angus if and when we get planning permission.
“We have a contractor but it should sub contract to local companies which is another plus and the store will also help prevent retail leakage from the town and bring in custom from the surrounding area. It will be food only so in terms of the High Street we can co-exist quite happily.”