A THREE-YEAR campaign by a local developer paid off last week when plans to create a new supermarket on a site on the edge of Kirriemuir were granted approval in principle.
An application by Guild Homes (Tayside) Limited went before a special meeting of Angus Council held in Kirriemuir Town Hall last Wednesday evening, with a recommendation of refusal by local authority planning officials.
But, following three hours of presentations and deliberations, and amidst unprecedented scenes of jubilation by a large gathering of interested members of the public, councillors gave the proposal for a site at Pathhead to the south of town the green light by a thumping 18-5 majority.
Local developer Mark Guild, who has built and sold 120 homes in three developments in Kirrie over the past three years, described the decision as “a victory for the community”.
“It was fantastic and it was the people of Kirriemuir who made all the difference.
“We saw real democracy at its very best – local councillors listening to the views of local people and using the powers that only they have to make what was always a local decision.
“I take my hat off to the people of Kirriemuir for their undiminishing support over the past three years.”
The next step will be to get appropriate planning conditions for the approval agreed by the local authority.
Mr Guild said he was looking forward to working with planning officials to take the project forward and deliver a major supermarket for Kirriemuir at the earliest opportunity.
“We have been speaking to interested people for a long time and have a preferred operator,” he added.
“Hopefully we can all pull together and take this exciting project to the next stage.”
Last Wednesday evening’s decision means that Kirriemuir now has planning consent for two supermarkets – the other, of course, being at the Gairie Works.
In a statement released by the successful applicants for that site, CWP and J. & D. Wilkie said they were “extremely disappointed with the decision of the council to grant planning permission at Pathhead Farm.”
“We will be reviewing the decision with our legal advisors over the next few days,” added Bruce Weir, a director of CWP.
“The magnitude of this decision will only be realised in the next three to six months.
“It is my belief that not only will the Pathhead site not attract an operator but it will stop the Gairie Works development from moving forward.
“We are expecting a call from the operator that we have an agreed deal with confirming that they are withdrawing from the Gairie Works site.
“That operator has already confirmed that the Pathhead site is not of interest and that, if Pathhead was granted consent, they would not proceed with the Gairie Works site.
“Given there are no other operators interested in the town I believe that last Wednesday’s decision will result in no supermarket for Kirriemuir.”
For a more detailed report on last Wednesday evening’s Angus Council meeting that decided on the Pathhead development turn to page 5.