Gateway to Damage

Dear Bellman

The deadline is 24 July for commenting on the “Stonehaven Gateway” planning application for a big Tesco, electric vehicle (EV) hub, café etc. yet not one member of the public has logged a comment.

This major project outside Stonehaven poses substantial and completely unbalanced competition to our town’s shops and businesses, many family-owned – which one of them has the equivalent shopfloor size, plus the buying and advertising power of multinational Tesco, whose 2023/24 UK and ROI revenue is more than £62.8 billion? Hardly a level playing field.

Some 20 years ago, Tesco tried to establish itself within Stonehaven. The retail landscape for residents and for the UK as a whole has changed out of all recognition since then – online shopping and store-to-door deliveries, for example – and so to allow this new development to be approved now is to close your eyes to this and the consequences, short and long-term of the plan.

Stonehaven is an attractive place for residents and visitors, in great part because of individual shops and the number of them, unlike so many towns of the same size and larger. It has character. It also has a steep hill up to the site for this proposed development where there is no bus stop and those on foot endure traffic at 40mph right beside them. So, an out of town development designed for car drivers, same as last century.

There is nothing “forward-facing”, as the developer claimed about this plan in January’s Bellman. It may have been if it was simply an EV hub, but at the consultation stage, the developers stated baldly that if the superstore was rejected, there would be no EV hub, no discussion.

Who benefits? The Stonehaven Gateway is a gateway to a few people making profits. It has the hallmarks of a blight on the prosperity and character of Stonehaven.

M Rifat
Stonehaven

David - July 10, 2024

I support this development. There is no evidence that this will detract from Stonehaven town centre, because we are lucky in having traders who run shops worth visiting and buying in. I support them, but still have to go to Bridge of Dee once a month to get things not available here. And I still have to go on line for some things. Development increases variety and choice.

Paula Fogiel - July 9, 2024

I think if Tesco gets the go ahead it will be disastrous for our lovely town of Stonehaven
It will damage the local shops and we will become yet another statistic of small shop closure and empty shops
Please don’t let it go ahead
It is only a few miles for folk to go to bigger shops and we have a good bus service to get to Portlethen and Aberdeen

Mike Roden - July 9, 2024

I’m sorry I disagree with your point here- Stonehaven currently has a complete imbalance between retail facilities and house numbers / population. Look at other towns of similar size around the NE who are much better served by supermarkets who also maintain a healthy local business structure. Stonehaven residents actively support their local businesses and I cannot see this changing after the provision of decent essential critical supermarket facilities.

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