AN INVERURIE developer has hit out at Aberdeenshire Council’s Economic Advisor, after an internal memo criticising the proposed development at the former Haldanes site was publicised.
William Lippe Architects is currently re-developing the Ythan Terrace site on behalf of Warsash Properties, with proposals for the demolition of the existing building and construction of 63 flats and 10,000 square feet of retail space currently going through the planning process. The development was announced before Haldanes folded in June, with a consultation at the New Inn to gauge public opinion attended by 77 people.
However in his submission to planners, Economic Advisor Douglas Rennie described the allocated retail space with the development as “not sufficient to attract the national retailers that have moved into other towns in Aberdeenshire.” He also argues that business in the town centre will lose out on the footfall from a larger store, and car parking space which is currently available. He did concede, however, that other retailers might benefit from displacement from Haldanes, and also from the influx of residents to the town centre.
He concluded by saying: “Economic development would prefer a proposal that had more retail provision to attract the retailers other towns in Aberdeenshire have been able to attract.”
Managing Director of the developing architects William Lippe told the Times that the consultations his firm had organised in Ellon had highlighted a desire among residents for a selection of smaller retail units, rather than one large shop.
“The retail space that there is at the moment is too large, and that’s why it’s being reduced,” said Mr Lippe. “Moreover, although the proposals are for smaller units, there would be nothing to stop them being consolidated into larger units should there be a demand for it.
“It seems that Mr Rennie is out of touch with current retail realities. The site was non-viable as one, large retail space as Haldanes.”