A proposed community fridge in Dundee’s West End could attract “undesirables” to the area, it has been claimed.
Gate Church, on Perth Road, is planning the initiative as a way of providing fresh fresh fruit and vegetables, with donations from people who have surplus food.
Though similar in principle to a food bank, a referral is not needed and anyone could use the facility, the proposed location of which would be the car park beside the Tartan Coffee House.
Local businesses have voiced concerns the community fridge may attract anti-social behaviour and put off tourists when the V&A opens and have called for the area to be kept “exclusive”.
Noel Kemlo, owner of the Tartan Coffee House, said: “I want to stress that we’re not against the idea of a community fridge and we would even donate some of our food to it.
“We just don’t think this is the right location. We already get beggars coming in asking to change notes and to use the toilet, and this facility will detract even more from the area.
“We have invested a lot into this cafe and built it up. The shop down the road sells designer handbags and they won’t want undesirables hanging around either.
“It won’t help the area — we want to keep it quite exclusive, especially with the V&A opening soon.
“We’d be supportive if this community fridge was inside the church rather than out in the open.”
The shop down the road sells designer handbags and they won’t want undesirables hanging around…
Michael Henderson, owner of the Windsor Gallery, added: “It’s a good concept but I’m just not sure this is the right place for it.
“This is not an area of deprivation, so surely it would be better off where people actually need the free food.”
However, other businesses favoured the plans, with Paul Wallace of iArt Supplies expressing support for a trial run of the initiative.
The community fridge would be made up of a shipping container, which will house a fridge, freezer, notice board and some seating.
A meeting was held for residents, traders, community councillors and city councillors to discuss the proposals.
Peter Menzies, chairman of the West End Community Council, said: “The vast majority of people who have given us feedback are against the idea.
“There is probably a bit of NIMBY-ism but at the same time, businesses on Perth Road are not exactly printing money, so this could impact on them.”
However, Gate church said the feedback they have had was positive and they are currently addressing the concerns before deciding on the final proposal.
Tessa Tricks at Hubbub, who would build the community fridge, said: “Hubbub runs the National Network of Community Fridges and have had an active role in managing community fridges for nearly two years.
“During this time we have never had any complaints of antisocial behaviour or vandalism at any of the fridge sites.
“We provide all fridges with comprehensive health and safety guidance and are pleased to say that we have an ever growing network of donors to the Community Fridge Network.”