Store wars break out in Carnoustie

© Paul Reid
The planned development site

A bun fight has broken out after the Co-op raised “significant concerns” over bakery giant Greggs’ planned £2 million Carnoustie town centre development.

The Co-op has warned the high street chain’s proposal has the potential to “significantly impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre”.

Greggs’ proposal for an outlet and adjacent foodstore – with supermarket giant Sainsbury’s confirming its interest in moving there – on the vacant site of the former Kinloch primary school has already attracted 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.

The Co-op is a key stakeholder in Carnoustie town centre centre and operate a foodstore at High Street and a smaller convenience store at Barry Road.

The objection stated: “The proposed retail units would lie approximately 0.4 miles from the existing Co-op at High Street which is the retail anchor for Carnoustie town centre.

“As the proposed retail floorspace lies in such close proximity to the Co-op it is entirely logical to consider that it will have a very significant impact on these premises, particularly given that it is the focus for food shopping in Carnoustie.

“Moreover, the town centre benefits from linked trips between the Co-op store and other town centre businesses.

“As such, a significant impact on the Co-op store would have impacts on the wider town centre through lost linked shopping trips and spending opportunities.”

The Co-op said the Local Development Plan (LDP) strategy for the town centre would be “fundamentally undermined by the proposed out of centre retail development”.

The objection also stated there is “insufficient information” in respect of its approach to site selection and there is no “retail impact analysis to consider the trading impacts on the town centre”.

Greggs has brought forward proposals for a hybrid development featuring one of its outlets alongside a new 6,000 sq ft food store in a scheme which could deliver 50 new jobs for the town.

Greggs hopes its name will be added to the local retail offering in time for the Open Championship at Carnoustie next summer and says the scheme could help to stem the flow of shoppers from the town to other centres.

The development – the first firm proposal to emerge for the site since the demolition of the former Kinloch primary in summer 2010 – has been brought forward in response to ideas which emerged from the Carnoustie design charrette, one of a series held across the Angus burghs.