Councillors back retail plan

An artist's impression of the retail development
An artist's impression of the retail development

Councillors at the Formartine Area Committee have backed plans for a retail development and new supermarket in Oldmeldrum.

The proposal by Apcc Ltd for five retail units at Colpy Way was recommended for refusal by council planners, however councillors believed the development would be beneficial for local residents.

Access to the site would be taken off the Oldmeldrum Bypass and car parking would be provided.

A public exhibition and consultation was held back in April at Oldmeldrum Town Hall for residents to view the plans and have their say.

Aberdeenshire Council received 203 representations in support of the application.

Comments mentioned that the site was a good location, it would keep people shopping in Oldmeldrum and the development would create jobs.

As the site is situated directly across from Meldrum Academy, other comments said it would give pupils another lunch option.

Only two letters received raised concerns about the development, claiming it would take business away from the town centre and issues about traffic safety.

The supermarket due to be built on the site is expected to become a Co-op.

Mid-Formartine councillor Cryle Shand said: “Oldmeldrum shopping gets done in Inverurie so this proposal would increase footfall in the town and passing trade may be tempted to pop in on their way to either Inverurie or Ellon.”

Cllr Jim Gifford said: “People in Oldmeldrum have always wanted a supermarket but there are concerns about the effect on the town centre.

“The proposed site is suitable, it is the first site on the way out of town and it would create more jobs.”

Fellow cllr Allan Hendry added: “It would bring jobs and on that basis I’d support it.”

Lippe Architects and Planners are delighted that the Formartine Area Committee has approved the proposed retail development in Oldmeldrum.

A spokesperson for the firm said: ”The Co-op will occupy the larger of the five units with interest already been shown in four smaller units.

“We were delighted to have the support of so many residents in Oldmeldrum and their efforts are very much appreciated.

“Given planning approval work will now commence on the building warrant and licencing, it is anticipated that work on site for the development will commence early in 2017.”