The Co-op have lodged plans to convert the former motorbike garage on the corner of Queen Charlotte Street and St John’s Place into a convenience store, similar to their MacDonald Road store.
According to the planning documentation, “The Co-op have identified Queen Charlotte Street and the surrounding area as having a lack of provision of convenience retail shopping to serve the established residential population and employment uses there.
“The subject unit is modestly sized and will serve to provide a convenience/top-up shopping facility.”
It adds: “The site is approximately 0.5 miles (10-15mins walk) from Leith Town Centre and the nature, scale and location of the proposed Co-op on Queen Charlotte Street will have… no impact on the larger main food shop at Leith or across the wider town centre.”
The application materials are silent on the impact the proposed store may have on smaller food shops in the area.
Indeed, not all locals are happy with the idea.
In a comment on the Leith Links Community Council blog, Hermione Hague, sets out possible grounds for objection that locals opposed to the idea may wish to use use.
She writes: “The date for comments is 17 October 2014 and I have asked the council if a notice could be put up as there is not one on site, at present. I have also discovered that the coop currently plan opening hours to be 6am to 10pm.
Suitable grounds for comment/ objection appear to be:
– this area is not suitable for general retail development and there is sufficient local provision already with a 5 to 10 minute walk (Leith Links Convenience Store, Tesco, Sainsbury Local, Farm Foods, Lidl);
– opening hours (although the sale of alcohol is a question for the licensing body), particularly given our local issues;
– delivery trucks and parking;
– conservation area (bearing in mind that the previous use was for a motorcycle shop).
You can find and comment on the planning application on the council’s planning portal by searching for ref: 14/03693/FUL
Would you welcome a Co-op store on this site? We’d be interested to hear your thoughts.