Opposition is mounting against bakery giant Greggs’ £2 million plan for a Carnoustie town centre development.
The high street chain’s proposal for an outlet and adjacent foodstore on the vacant site of the former Kinloch primary emerged last week, but has already attracted significant local opposition.
Critics say the plan does not meet the “village-square” vision which emerged as one of the Carnoustie charrette aspirations for the site, and have questioned the potential impact on established local businesses of a national chain’s arrival.
Businessman Mark Robb, who operates bakeries in the town and Arbroath, said: “At the end of the day I already compete with Greggs anyway since I have another shop on Arbroath High Street where they are already.
“What I think people hoped for on the Kinloch site was to put something there that would bring folk to Carnoustie, not just to give them an alternative to what’s already there.
“There are more than enough empty premises to redevelop if Greggs and their partners want to open an outlet in Carnoustie.
“The real intention of this faceless corporate entity is to use its substantial resources to create a small food park right in the centre of the town which will reshape the trading landscape in their favour.
“What it really comes down to is what we want Carnoustie to look and feel like in the future.
“What I would like to see from our council and planning department is a comprehensive plan for development of the existing town centre, to try and breathe life into it for the long term.
“A good starting place would be to use this area for civic purposes – as was promised.”
In his submission to local councillors, Mr Robb concludes: “If Angus Council was to approve this plan it would be a complete slap in the face and betrayal of all existing High Street food and grocery businesses and yet another example of the complete lack of vision and commitment by our council to the long-term viability of our high streets and town centres.
The potential threat to other businesses on the high street has been raised as a concern in many of the fifty-plus comments which have been lodged in response to the Greggs application.
The company’s supporting statement has said the 6,000 square foot foodstore and adjacent outlet would create 50 new jobs, with their sights set on the development being in place ahead of next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.