A PROPOSED development on the site of Ellon’s Haldanes has generated angry reaction from the supermarket, who have told the Times that they were not consulted over the plans, and had no idea that their store was being earmarked for demolition by the landlord.
Haldanes Chief Executive Arthur Harris told the Times: “We knew nothing about this proposed development until news of it appeared in the papers. We’re genuinely shocked at this. We have no intention of moving out: our aim is to keep the store open.”
He said that the company had only discovered the consultation - scheduled for Wednesday 16 between noon and 8pm at the New Inn - after it was reported in the local press. He added that Haldanes had a long lease on the substantial site, which sits on Ythan Terrace overlooking the river, and that the supermarket group were considering their legal options.
“No development can take place on the site for 15 years - we have a 15 year lease,” he said. “We have contacted the landlords to express our amazement, and placed the matter in the hands of our lawyers.”
The Times was unable to ascertain the owners of the site who have proposed the development in question, however Kevin Smollett, who is the architect for William Lippe in charge of the proposals, described the development as “very early days”.
“What I can say is that it’s being designed in accordance with the design brief laid out for Ellon, and will include around 62 flats, though only a block plan has been prepared so far.
“There will also be retail units, and car parking associated with the development. The public consultation will be an opportunity for the community to give feedback.”
“The present buildings on the site would be demolished.”
Community Council Chairwoman Moira Muir said:
“We really can’t comment on the plans until we have discussed them. The community council will be viewing the proposals in the near future.”
The Times reported on the opening of the Haldanes store a year ago, after the recently founded chain announced it would be taking over the town’s Somerfield store as part of its buyout deal with Co-Op. The company, which runs stores across Scotland and England, announced in July that it would be cutting jobs across its holdings.