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Store wars whips up as Sainsbury’s blasts the Co-op’s objection to Carnoustie retail development


Sainsbury’s has blasted the Co-op’s objection to a Carnoustie retail development as being “entirely flawed” and lacking credibility.

The shop wars whipped up as Sainsbury’s entered the fray and said the Co-op’s “commercial objection” should be disregarded by Angus planners as it was simply an attempt “to keep competition at bay”.

Greggs’ proposal for an outlet and adjacent retail store with supermarket giant Sainsbury’s on the vacant site of the former Kinloch primary school has already attracted local opposition.

Edinburgh-based Cameron Laird Architects submitted a response on behalf of Sainsbury’s to the Co-op’s objection which was previously put forward by Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH).

Angus Council did not request a retail impact assessment for the proposal and Sainsbury’s said LSH “attempted to prepare their own, based on a wide range of assumptions, and in a vacuum of any context surrounding the proximity of the site to the town centre, the qualitative provision of retail in Carnoustie, or the effect of wider trade patterns”.

Sainsbury’s said the attempt to analyse the retail impact of the proposed development was “entirely flawed and should be attributed no weight”.

“It has been drafted as a commercial objection on behalf of their client, The Co-operative Group, in an attempt to keep competition at bay and contains many inaccuracies and incorrect assumptions that it has no credibility.

“As such, their letter, in so far as it proports to assess retail impact, should be disregarded.

“The development is well below the threshold whereby policy TC19 requires a retail impact assessment and it will be for the planning officers and members of Angus Council’s planning committee to decide whether, on balance, the proposed development is appropriate for the town in planning terms.

“As such, a much broader consideration of the development is required.

“The benefits of the proposal, and the context for its conception have been previously explained.

“The close relationship of the development to the town centre and the strong local need for additional choice and competition dictate that the application should be welcomed.”

Sainsbury’s said the “proposed store is not a supermarket” and “is of a scale appropriate to the size of Carnoustie town centre, and indeed the town itself”.

“Although only a large format convenience store as opposed to a supermarket, it will have some positive impact on retaining trade within Carnoustie because it will offer additional choice to the residents of the town and will claw back some expenditure, not least from shopping trips being made to the Sainsbury’s store in Dundee.

“We do not agree with LSH’s assumption that the proposed Sainsbury’s store in Carnoustie would not be effective in clawing back trade from higher order settlements.

“The nearest large format stores are 15 minutes and more drive away, at Monifieth, Dundee and Arbroath.”

Sainsbury’s said retail development on the site would function as “an integrated part of Carnoustie” and customers visiting the site “are very likely to also visit the town centre, and vice versa”.

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