Home Bargains has secured planning permission to build a new store in Fraserburgh following approval by Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee.
The development is expected to create 40 to 50 jobs and comprise a store, service yard and 108 car parking spaces with a floor area of over 2,000 square metres.
The application initially drew criticism from Council planners but the scheme won the unanimous backing of members of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee earlier year. The proposed development was then referred to the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC).
Troup Councillor Hamish Partridge proposed approval of the application at the ISC, which was seconded by Banff Councillor John Cox. The motion was approved by ten votes to four.
Across the North-east, Home Bargains also has branches in Peterhead and Inverurie.
Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Hamish Partridge said: “The report before councillors acknowledges that efforts have been made to find a Town Centre location for this. Ideally, we would want this to be in the centre but the reality is there are no sites there which can accommodate a development of this size.
“Fraserburgh is a regeneration town and if the council is serious about building the local economy then we cannot turn away a major investment of this nature. Any impact on existing retailers will be on the Tescos and Asdas, not on Town Centre retailers, who I hope will actually benefit from increased numbers of shoppers drawn to the town.”
Fraserburgh councillors Brian Topping, who proposed approval of the application at the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, and Charles Buchan, who seconded the proposal, also welcomed the decision.
Cllr Charles Buchan commented: “I’m very pleased that the Council has given the proposed Home Bargains store the go-ahead to build next to Asda.
“Brian Topping and I moved to overturn the refusal decision by the planners at the Area Committee, and in this we were successful, with unanimous support by all members of the Banff and Buchan members.
“The Council then decided to hand it over to the Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, as the planners wanted the store to be built near the town centre. Although this could have been a good idea, the company made it clear to me that they would only move to Fraserburgh if they were allowed to build next to Asda.
“Thanks to the majority of members of the committee, including Hamish Partridge (Troup), John Cox (Banff), Stephen Smith (Peterhead) and Rob Merson (Ellon), the proposal was accepted, despite the opposition of councillors Peter Argyll, Alan Buchan, Michael Roy and Carl Neilson.
“It’s good to see more jobs and business activity coming into the town.”
Councillor Brian Topping added: “This is good news for the Broch. Other towns which have had a branch of Home Bargains opening up have benefitted from increased local employment opportunities as well as investment from a big name retailer. Had there been a big enough site in the Town Centre then that would clearly have been the preferred option but there wasn’t, so I’d rather have the investment being made in the Broch that not at all.”
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