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Thread: Tesco dancing on Asda's grave at the Mart in Thurso?

  1. #541
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    Can I encourage the Thurso architect to either resubmit his comments on the new mart proposal or to submit a revised version? Hopefully a revised version would have a slightly more positive narrative.


    http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/appli...=NZGNHSIHGP500

  2. #542

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    If you are looking for comments, look under the comments tag, the 3 comments which were there previously are still there, including the one with which you seem to be currently obsessed.

  3. #543
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    Quote Originally Posted by davth View Post
    Crayola, why do you see the need to troll another member continuously using terms he has already informed you he finds annoying and continuously insulting him by calling him a failure?
    Is it any concern of yours if he wishes to continue with his plans to develop Thurso?
    and is it any concerns of yours if she does?
    "Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."

  4. #544

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekisman View Post
    and is it any concerns of yours if she does?
    I dont think she has any plans to develop Thurso does she?
    Maybe she does, would certainly explain her underwhelmed attitude towards Mr Taylors proposed projects.

  5. #545
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    Quote Originally Posted by davth View Post
    I dont think she has any plans to develop Thurso does she?
    Maybe she does, would certainly explain her underwhelmed attitude towards Mr Taylors proposed projects.

    Oh I see, she does seem to dig deep into things
    "Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."

  6. #546
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    Quote Originally Posted by gillsbay View Post
    If you are looking for comments, look under the comments tag, the 3 comments which were there previously are still there, including the one with which you seem to be currently obsessed.
    Thank you.

    The problem was that for some reason the browser on my old mobile device didn't show the comments on that web page.

    What do you think of the unsupportive comments by the architect? Unfortunately for the rapid progress of the project, I think he makes some very good points on issues that I had semi-consciously brushed aside in my mind.

  7. #547
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    As a favour to the community I have posted below the previously mentioned thoughtful and well informed comment. He makes many points that must be considered before any building can begin. Please engage with this important and crucial issue.

    Neil McDonald
    Comment submitted date: Tue 12 Jan 2016
    I wish to submit a representation in respect to the above planning application.

    Significant investment and development is to be welcomed where the development adds value to the sustainability of a community by helping create a quality living environment, excellent educational and community facilities, encourages a vibrant local economy and enhances the natural and built environment. The planning process has been established so applications can be properly evaluated against these, and other, key criteria. The process can successfully help deliver real benefit and a quality project where all parties involved work in a spirit of openness and collaboration and the information provided to support the application is full, clear and has been robustly tested against the relevant development criteria.

    My current view is the application as submitted fails to meet the quality and type of development which will add value to the sustainability of our Town and wider community. I therefore wish to object to the application as submitted on the following grounds:

    1. On a procedural matter, in light of the application submission date in relation to the holiday period and Highland Council office closures, what is the deadline for public representations and neighbour notification? I trust it will be extended to give everyone the opportunity to submit representations for a project of this scale and significance.

    2. There is insufficient information accompanying the application to be able to take an informed and balanced view on the merits of the application bearing in mind the potential impact the application will have on the Town and established businesses.

    3. Planning Policy at local, regional and national level has a presumption of "Town Centre First" when it comes to assessing the impact significant development might have on existing Towns. Most recently the Scottish Government's policy outcome from the "Review of Scottish Town Centres" has reinforced this key planning principle. The application fails to address this fundamental planning issue.

    4. Local Plan issues.

    a. The current Local Plan envisaged the Council preparing a development brief with the owners to explore a range of alternative uses. What were the outcomes of this options appraisal exercise with the applicant and indeed the previous site owner? I note the Local Plan states:

    "In planning terms redevelopment for business/light industrial workshops, further education facilities, a community/art centre and residential uses would be appropriate. Non-food retail warehousing would only be considered as part of a mixed development which incorporates the other appropriate uses and benefits for the wider community".

    Refer further comment below in "5".

    b. I note that in respect to this site the updated Local Plan states under Developer
    Requirements:

    "In addition (to 08/00494/REMCA consent) an active travel route is to be established along the east side of Ormlie Road and through the site from Janet Street as part of "Safer Routes to Schools"; high quality and design"

    Refer further comment below in "5".

    5. In my view, the recent community engagement exercise "A New Vision for Thurso" and the subsequent updated Local Plan which itself was informed by the engagement exercise has been substantially ignored by the applicant. I note the updated Local Plan has now been approved as the settled view of the Council and must be treated as a material planning consideration for development management purposes as of 4 November 2015. It is unacceptable that after spending tens of thousands of pounds of public money on community engagement and the preparation of the updated Local Plan, that the first application of significance submitted after the Council has agreed their settled view should ignore aspects of the community and Councils aspirations for the Town's sustainable development. It singularly fails to address key criteria referred to above in "3 & 4" such as:

    a. The site use should be mixed. The application only envisages retail which is likely to be Aldi or a similar budget supermarket with other national retail chains tagging on behind. This will only happen if the developer's negotiations are successful in driving down site development costs to keep lease terms at the keenest level possible in order to attract national retailer's interests and maximise commercial return.

    b. High quality and design. The site layout ignores the grain of the existing Town planning which is of National historical significance and the building designs as presented have minimal design merit. The proposals fail to deliver in any meaningful way on the community and policy aspirations for appropriate development which enhances the Town's built environment by means of quality development.

    c. The north east corner of the site forms a key visual end stop to Princes Street and the Town Conservation Area vista. The application completely misses the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the richness of the Townscape which is bitterly disappointing.

    6. The application has insufficient detail to merit proper evaluation in respect to:

    a. Traffic management.

    b. "Safer Routes to School" bearing in mind the proximity of Miller Academy Primary
    School, Thurso High School and the UHI.

    c. Contaminated land assessment for brownfield site development.

    d. Contextual visualisations to clearly communicate the impact the development will have on the Townscape.

    e. The drainage assessment refers to an historical flagstone field drain through the centre of the site. It is likely that this drain connects with other unrecorded historical field drains which may act as a direct conduit to Thurso River. Any such direct conduit may reduce the efficacy of the treatment proposals for surface water disposal to the environment. If historical flagstone drains are not dealt with by best practice there remains a significant risk that environmental pollution, flooding or surcharging of existing drains may occur.

    7. The applicant has only applied for consent for part of the site extending to 1.75 hectares and
    2 retail units which create less than 10,000mē of floor area. If they had applied for consent for the whole site development (for example as envisaged by the applicant in the plan forming part of the Drainage Strategy Plan and Flood Risk Assessment) then my understanding is the application process may have to had been dealt with as a Major Planning application as the whole site area exceeds 2 hectares and total building floor area would almost certainly exceed 10,000mē. I would contend that an incremental approach to the control of development for this site is wholly inappropriate and has more to do with the applicant wishing to avoid project development costs and short cut the planning process. In my view the applicant should be required to submit an application setting out their proposal for the development of the whole site and have it determined as a Major Planning application so that an appropriate level of information is provided to enable proper scrutiny and due diligence in assessing the applicant's proposals.

    8. The applicant acquired 14 Tesco sites across the country. It would be logical if those sites which offered the best return for shareholders were to be developed first. In this context the applicant should be required to make a statement on where the development of the Thurso site lies in their priorities.

    The timing of the application submission to coincide with the holiday period, the lack of supporting information and the ignoring of Policy raises real concern that this application is ill considered and of minimal (if any) value to the community. Whilst not forming part of the application, recent press statements have referred to 100's of jobs being created but there has been absolutely no substantiation as to how these jobs will be created and how many existing jobs they will displace. There is no mention of the potential negative economic impact this development will have on our established Town centres hard pressed retailers. Tacit reference has also been made to mixed use but is not realised in the application because commercial returns on anything other than retail use will not maximise a commercial developer's return on this site. Reference to student accommodation is highly unlikely to be deliverable as the developer is not the current UHI Framework Development partner for delivering student accommodation across the region.

    The minimal investment in the preparation of the application and the lack of any attempt to demonstrate an understanding for our Town, the site, its context, the communities' aspirations and planning policy says it all. The application as presented is not in the Town's best interests. I suspect when the developer progresses to the detailed design stage that the commercial realties in developing this site will then come home to them and development will drift as it did with Tesco.

    The press statements are all spin, of no substance, and are designed to construct a perception of a reality which cannot and will not be delivered. In my mind an application of this importance to the Town should not even have been validated due to the lack of information never mind ultimately possibly receive approval. The appropriate development of this site as envisioned in the Local Plan and community engagement exercise has the potential to unlock far greater community benefit than is being offered here. The application must be refused in its present form as our Town deserves much much better than this.
    Last edited by crayola; 19-Mar-16 at 00:20.

  8. #548

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    i'll give you my own take on what this area needs in plain english ....

    * when entering Thurso on the train, the site looks like a complete midden and first impressions are that 'this is a town that doesn't giving a flying hoot about first impressions'

    * Thurso could really benefit from a nicely landscaped green area that welcomes visitors on the train. A green space with trees, paths, sculptures and water features that the locals would enjoy and visitors could appreciate instead of the current eyesore.

    * Thurso doesn't need (or want) any chainstore/s that'll suck the life out of the town centre

    * The High School and Train Station could (and should) be gifted some land to increase their car/bus parking spaces

    * The junction at Lover's Lane/Ormlie Road/Castlegreen Road should be turned into a roundabout to keep traffic moving at peak times

    there, job done

  9. #549
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    Almost 7 years since I started this thread, where are we now? Are we any nearer an outcome than we were 7 years ago? Sadly I have my doubts.

    Although there are amended plans and many more consultation responses have been uploaded to the HC website in the three months since my last post, we are still awaiting definite news.

    Dare we hope to be further forward this time next year or will I be writing the same words in 12 months?

    Revised plans and consultation comments are on the HC website.

    http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/appli...=NZGNHSIHGP500

  10. #550
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    Interesting article on Caithness Business.

    It appears that Caithness councillors want to withdraw any permission for development at Pennyland and Victoria Walk.

    Public to be consulted on CaSPlan changes

    8th September 2016


    The Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan) which sets out The Highland Council's vision and development strategy for the area over the next 20 years is to be modified and put out for public consultation.

    In a Report presented to both the Sutherland and Caithness Area Committees last week the recommendations on the issues were to defend the Proposed Plan with only minor modifications, which would have seen the Plan progress to Examination as the next stage. However whilst the Area Committees agreed with such an approach in respect of most of the issues, the Caithness Committee decided to propose the removal of two site allocations in Thurso.

    Site TS12 East of Burnside currently shown as allocated for Community/public park use
    Site TS14 Land West of Caravan Park allocated for Business,Tourism & Leisure which was intended to provide opportunity for hotel development.

    Due to these significant changes the next stage of the CaSPlan will be a 6 week public consultation on a Modified Plan. Arrangements are currently being drawn up for the consultation, including its timing, and will be advertised shortly.

    Following this further consultation period consideration of the comments received will take place before a report goes to the Area Committees early in the New Year in order that any further pre-Examination consideration and decisions can be undertaken. After this the next stage will be submitting the CaSPlan to Scottish Ministers for the Examination of any outstanding issues
    Public to be consulted on CaSPlan changes

    Does anyone have more details?

    And what's going on with proposals for the former mart site?

    Yes I'm a bit out of date.

  11. #551
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    I am so so pleased to read that Caithness councillors have stymied the elfish plan to build a big hotel on Victoria Walk. Our hard working councillors previously saved the town from an elephantine Asda being forced on us in the wrong location. Now they have once again excelled in their duty to the brave townspeople of Thurso by opposing the wilful destruction of one of the finest vistas in the world. The people of Thurso do not have to suffer the consequences of yet another vanity project from the man who took vanity projects to a new level.

    Thank you Caithness councillors. We love you.

    Here's the story from last month's local newspaper.

    http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/...s-02092016.htm

    Now when are you going to sort out the mess at the mart?

  12. #552

    Default What do you mean "us"

    [QUOTE=crayola;1155500]I am so so pleased to read that Caithness councillors have stymied the elfish plan to build a big hotel on Victoria Walk. Our hard working councillors previously saved the town from an elephantine Asda being forced on us in the wrong location. Now they have once again excelled in their duty to the brave townspeople of Thurso by opposing the wilful destruction of one of the finest vistas in the world. The people of Thurso do not have to suffer the consequences of yet another vanity project from the man who took vanity projects to a new level.

    Thank you Caithness councillors. We love you.

    You don't even live here so nothing is being "forced" on you!

  13. #553
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    Well..

    I see the mart developers have changed a small number of details on their proposals for the mart. But evidently they haven't changed them enough to satisfy the powers that be.

    You can catch up with some recent developments at

    http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/appli...=NZGNHSIHGP500

    During 2016 I have seen the mart site being advertised for sale. Yes again!

    And I have seen so far non-existent retail units at the mart being offered for lease.

    I have walked on glaciers that move faster than the pace of developments at the mart!

    I am hoping for better in 2017. But not necessarily a whole lot better.

  14. #554

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    There's a report stating that houses price and job opportunities will drop dramatically over the next few years. The MART site is NO longer an investment , the community group thats into tiding up and bring such sites into public use had been told " don't bother asking " so things look bleak.

  15. #555

    Default Crayola

    Hi,
    I have 'followed' you for some time, and do wonder if you are sometimes joking or serious.
    What would be wrong with filling that empty space with a nice modern hotel, and whatever else the poor man wants to build.
    I do agree that both Thurso and Wick for that matter, need to make their Towns more attractive.
    I think if you live in an area, you do not see the lack of brightness in the landscape, and a new building would make the area 'come to life'.
    Even if a hotel is built, there is lots of room to view Scrabster, and the surrounding sea view.
    Wouldn't it be nice for visitors to have a nice sea view and a patio bar......even the locals would enjoy it.
    I used to live in Caithness and visit regularly and it's the same olde....same olde.
    Give the man a chance and spruce up Thurso..........Give the Town a better opportunity to attract tourists....
    Come on, get with the modernization......

  16. #556
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recycle it View Post
    There's a report stating that houses price and job opportunities will drop dramatically over the next few years. The MART site is NO longer an investment , the community group thats into tiding up and bring such sites into public use had been told " don't bother asking " so things look bleak.
    Can you point me to a copy of this report?

    Thanks
    C

  17. #557

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogermellie View Post
    i'll give you my own take on what this area needs in plain english ....

    * when entering Thurso on the train, the site looks like a complete midden and first impressions are that 'this is a town that doesn't giving a flying hoot about first impressions'

    * Thurso could really benefit from a nicely landscaped green area that welcomes visitors on the train. A green space with trees, paths, sculptures and water features that the locals would enjoy and visitors could appreciate instead of the current eyesore.

    * Thurso doesn't need (or want) any chainstore/s that'll suck the life out of the town centre

    * The High School and Train Station could (and should) be gifted some land to increase their car/bus parking spaces

    * The junction at Lover's Lane/Ormlie Road/Castlegreen Road should be turned into a roundabout to keep traffic moving at peak times

    there, job done

    I agree with Rogermellie and more.
    Neil McDonald perhaps thinks he is building the Taj Mahal in Thurso.
    Something should be done with Caithness.
    Now this is not a Complaint from 'an outsider'. I see Caithness from a different perspective.
    Give the tourists something to look forward t.

    Some years ago the maps put out about Scotland, were cut off just North of Inverness.
    I still see the same thing........

  18. #558

    Default

    Just read in the Groat that there are upcoming meetings....
    Local Outcome Improvement, and
    The Scottish Government has passed The Unity and Improvement Act....first Meeting in Thurso on Wed.....
    The object of the exercise is to Make Caithness a Better Place to Live and to address the Inequalities and improve the Problems.....
    These are great words......let's hope that some life can be installed in the Communities.....Somehow.......well we shall see!
    Has the Thurso Hotel fallen thru?

  19. #559

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Horseman View Post
    Just read in the Groat that there are upcoming meetings....
    Local Outcome Improvement, and
    The Scottish Government has passed The Unity and Improvement Act....first Meeting in Thurso on Wed.....
    The object of the exercise is to Make Caithness a Better Place to Live and to address the Inequalities and improve the Problems.....
    These are great words......let's hope that some life can be installed in the Communities.....Somehow.......well we shall see!
    Has the Thurso Hotel fallen thru?
    Hotel, Lodge and Public Park Plan still very much alive. I will be posting the updated position very shortly.

  20. #560

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    I see your Hotel etal being such a benefit to Thurso. I have stayed in a few over the past years and I think there is a great need for something like what you are planning.
    I doubt if it would spoil the view, in fact my feeling is that it would enhance it.
    Caithness needs more innovative projects, and I hope that these upcoming meetings are not just 'a feel good exercise' by the local politicians.
    Neil McDonald's requirements would put anyone off. Yes there has to be parameters, but I feel 'rogermellie' has definitely answered some of the problems.
    And luverly 'Crayola'.......what u say? What do you have against such a dynamic project? And the midden approaching the train Stn!
    Green up the buildings...hang Xmas lights on them...turn them up on a dull day and in the evenings....that would be 'feel good'.

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