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Monthly News Bulletin

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Community Council Support for Homebase

THE ONLY community council in Stranraer has given its support to the proposed Homebase on Commerce Road in the town.

At their monthly meeting Ochtrelure and Belmont Community Council backed the plans.Community Council Chairwoman Moira McCamon said:

"Really and truly, the majority of people are wondering if the council could tell us a reason for the refusal of Homebase.

"Myself and the community council and everyone I have spoken to are in favour of the store coming to town."

Mrs McCamon also spoke of the proposal reducing the speed on the A77–Stoneykirk Road with the introduction of a roundabout. She said the plans seemed sound and questioned the reasoning behind the refusal.

At the meeting on Monday night, Councillor Willie Scobie warned if Homebase was approved it would open the floodgates to other stores trying for planning permission out of the town centre. He also said the recommendation for an approved site on Commerce Road in the town had been for refusal. He said three other councilors went against this to approve the plans, which are now before planning, housing and environment.

Following the meeting, Councillor Iain Dick said each planning application should be considered on its own merits. He believed it was inappropriate to consider the two directly against each other.He was still in favour of Homebase coming to Stranraer and the jobs and money it would provide. He said:

"It would be a good thing if lots of developers were bringing lots of money and jobs to Stranraer and I don’t think the public would consider otherwise."

Mr Dick questioned Mr Scobie’s statement that it could open the floodgates, saying it was "pure speculation" . He said:

"I do not see a huge number of developers banging on the door."

Planning permission was originally refused for the store in June last year as it was felt it would take trade away from the town centre.The applicants claimed the store would create 40 jobs and be the only development of its kind in Stranraer.

Currently the nearest DIY store to Wigtownshire means travelling to Ayr or Dumfries, over a 100–mile round trip.An independent body appointed by Scottish Ministers will hear an appeal on Homebase later this month.

 
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