It took more than 20 years to find a use for part of the former Valentine’s card factory site in Dundee, but less than 20 seconds for councillors to give it the green light.
Scottish car dealership Peter Vardy’s proposal to transform the Dunsinane Industrial Estate land were contrary to the local development plan but gave councillors barely a moment’s concern.
The ultra-modern, near-6,000 square metre car showroom planned for the site will have an instant impact upon the vibrancy of the Kingsway.
It will also bring as many as 100 jobs to the city and council officials were clear that the economic benefits fully justified a departure from its own document.
Where many businesses are downsizing, Peter Vardy has found that bigger is better, with plans to continue introducing its large-scale CarStore’s to key locations around the country.
The company opened its first car supermarket in Glasgow in 2014, selling more than 3,500 vehicles in its first 12 months. This rose to more than 4,000 in its second year of operation.
Peter Vardy has said it does not expect such returns immediately in Dundee, with the first year likely to be about “establishing” the dealership, but it hopes to swiftly become a major player in the city and wider area.
When he first confirmed plans for the Dundee showroom in August 2015, Peter Vardy said: “The site we have chosen in Dundee is close to one of the major routes through the city and will provide easy access for people from Tayside and the whole of the east of Scotland to enjoy the CarStore experience.”
It’s hoped that construction will be complete and the business open by the end of the year.
Recommending the proposals for approval, council officers noted: “The development will create 100 jobs in car sales, repair and servicing and the construction phase will provide further employment.
“It is intended that the prominent position of the store on the trunk road will greatly enhance the appearance of Dunsinane Industrial Estate, while demonstrating economic vibrancy to users of the Kingsway passing through or within Dundee.
“The site has been vacant since 1994 and despite previous planning permissions, no development has taken place on the site.
“The current proposals will kick-start an area that has lain fallow for 20 years.”
Conditions have been imposed, including the provision of electric car charging points.
Kinnoull Road will also be stopped-up along the length of the application land, with a new cycleway and footpath formed in its place.
Additional plots of land on the former Valentine’s site have been earmarked for other business use and it is hoped that these will be quick to fill once the Peter Vardy CarStore is in place.