Boycott forces petition withdrawal

LAST week the Guide & Gazette reported a story about a Muirdrum family who were trying to gauge public support for an application to build a petrol station in the village.

It has since emerged the family is in the process of collecting the opinion polls after opponents to the application pressured a local shop to remove it.

The Watson family of Muirdrum Farm put in a planning application for a filling station with pumps, car wash and a shop, which has recently been the focus for over 60 complaints by villagers.

Yvonne and Gavin Watson decided to gauge public reaction to the proposal by placing petitions supporting their application in shops in Carnoustie, which has been without a filling station for several years.

According to an anonymous caller on Monday, several customers had opted to boycott Maclagan’s newsagent in the High Street because it carried the census.

The caller added: “This is going to absolutely ruin the whole area.”

The Guide & Gazette contacted the newsagent, and Tahir, the proprietor, was able to confirm that the form had been removed.

He said: “Some of our customers don’t want a petrol pump. They said if we kept it they would leave.

“We’re not favouring that viewpoint. Both can come and make petitions. At least one of our customers is not coming back.”

One of his employees, who did not wish to be named added: “It left a bit of a sour taste in our mouths, for no apparent reason. They could have put a petition in themselves.”

Yvonne Watson confirmed this. She said: “They told them if they didn’t remove it they would boycott them. A lot of the people buy their papers there, so Gavin took it out because he didn’t want any hassle.

“We’ve probably got about 250 signatures so far, but we’ve backed off as it was getting ridiculous. I can’t be bothered with pettiness.

“We’re gathering up all the petitions and will see what comes of that. We don’t want to see people hassled in their businesses. Times are hard enough.

“We’ve not been pushing it because it’s getting to the stage that nobody in the village is speaking to us.”

Kenneth Grogan, who has lived in Muirdrum for the past five years but has also stayed in Carnoustie, is against the petrol station plan and was able to outline some of the main issues against the project.

He said: “This is being billed as a Carnoustie garage so why is it being planned for nearer to Muirdrum? If Carnoustie needs a petrol station why not have it actually in Carnoustie? Although there isn’t one in Carnoustie or Monifieth, people seem to have survived.

“There will be so many problems with HGVs as the road is too narrow.”

Carnoustie Community Council will meet at the end of this month and the proposal for the filling station will be among the issues to be discussed.

It was hoped that both sides could make representations to the community council on the matter.

Chairman Jim Simpson said: “I received confirmation on Wednesday that Mr Watson’s architect will attend our next meeting on June 25 to outline the development.”

As always, the Guide & Gazette is keen to hear the views of our readers, so please get in touch in the usual manner.

Twitter: @heraldjohnston