Dundee City Council leader John Alexander has said he believes a proposed new supermarket development on Kingsway East will be a “tremendous asset” for the city.
Mr Alexander, who was unable to attend Monday night’s development management committee because of ill health, said the decision to approve the planning application in principle sends out the “right signal” that Dundee is open for business.
The joint application between Lidl and developers I&H Brown is promising more than 170 full-time jobs on the site of the former ABB factory, although only 40 jobs provided by the German supermarket have been confirmed.
The development will also include a pub and restaurant and a drive-thru coffee shop.
Councillors voted 11 to 9 in favour of the Lidl proposal.
Seven councillors did not attend the development management committee meeting while SNP members Christina Roberts and Bill Campbell had to recuse themselves from the vote because they knew one of the deputations, which may have caused a conflict of interest.
Mr Alexander said: “I was absolutely gutted to miss the meeting because it is a big investment in Dundee.
“There are legitimate points about the site being kept for industrial use but I think it will be a tremendous asset for the city.
“The decision sends out the right signal to the business world.
“In terms of the specific site it has been vacant for 14 years.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Fraser Macpherson said: “I think we can all accept that not every councillor will make every single meeting.
“Development management is completely non-party. Attendance is generally good and the vast majority of meetings are well attended.”
Dundee East MSP Shona Robison said she believed the Lidl development will be good for the city.
She said: “I think this is a necessary development for this part of town and shows that the city’s regeneration programme is not only positively impacting the waterfront, but is spreading itself to out parts of the city.
“This development will create many much-needed jobs for the East End of Dundee and it will also provide more places for people to socialise.”
Meanwhile, businessman Henry Dawes has said he intends to appeal the committee’s decision to reject plans for a new development on Dunsinane Industrial Estate in Dundee that would have created 100 new jobs.
Dundee City Council’s development management committee voted 11-11 over plans for a Domino’s pizza outlet, a bakery, Starbucks coffee shop and nursery on a one-acre site on the industrial estate.
As committee convener, East End councillor Will Dawson was given a deciding vote, which he used to reject the proposals.
The vote came minutes after councillors narrowly approved plans for the Lidl development.
Mr Dawes, who already operates a number of Domino’s pizza franchises in Dundee, told the committee he has already had a number of business committed to opening in the development, which would create 40 full-time jobs and 60 part-time roles.
He said afterwards: “We are disappointed and looking at an appeal.”