Community council receives flurry of feedback over controversial Co-op

A flurry of feedback from members of the South Mainland community will be submitted to the council’s planning department over controversial plans for a new Co-op supermarket.

It comes after 26 people took part in a consultation exercise run by Sandwick Community Council, which discussed the proposals at its meeting on Tuesday night.

Plans for a similar shop in Scalloway have also caused concerns.

Sandwick Community Council chairman Kieran Malcolmson said there had been plenty of feedback after a flyer had been dispatched seeking views. The meeting heard around two thirds of respondents were against the proposals to build the new store, while the remaining third favoured the idea.

“We’ve had a lot of engagement from the local community,” he told the meeting. “We’ve gone through all the letters of the alphabet. We must have 25 or 26 different responses.”

Among the main concerns listed was the damage it was felt that the new store could have on local businesses across the South Mainland and further afield.

Mr Malcolmson said there was “quite significant concern” over the threat of shop closures and job losses.

Mention was also given to the potential loss of the post office if the Sandwick Co-op goes ahead.

Others felt the proposals contradicted the council’s local development plan.

“It was felt that this is not a site designated for business and industry, and would have a negative impact on the whole of the Shetland economy,” the chairman added.

Those who favoured the idea of a new Co-op said they wished to have the choice of another shop in the area.

“One of the main points in favour was that it is a growing community and it could do with a bigger shop,” said Mr Malcolmson, who added some had felt it would save them a trip to Lerwick.

“For those who don’t have cars and have to travel to town to get their shopping on the bus, it would be more convenient and probably cheaper for them.”

He added some had felt it would also be better for the environment.

Some who responded believed that having another shop in Sandwick would actually help existing businesses by encouraging more people to come to Sandwick to shop.

Following a half-hour discussion, members agreed the views should be signed off in a formalised document before being submitted to planning.


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