Public opinion in Carnoustie has been divided by the announcement of a new convenience store to open on a long-standing eyesore.
Last week’s front page article revealing plans for a new Co-operative store in the town unleashed a storm of online debate.
Work has already begun on the mini-market which will be built on the site of the former Barry Road filling station near to the Corner Hotel and opposite the Premier convenience store.
The shop will have around 2,500 square feet of sales space and will create 15 jobs, but crucially in the eyes of many, this development will not have a filling station.
Following a mixed response by local figures which veered from enthusiastic to cool, the debate migrated to Facebook where concerned citizens really let rip.
Nikki Johnston got the ball rolling, she wrote: “Would love to know what clowns are responsible for allowing another supermarket in Carnoustie.
“As if that isn’t bad enough it’s being built directly across from a small local shop. What happened to supporting small local businesses?”
David Morris added: “I will continue to use the Premier opposite the new development. The Premier although under different names and ownership has been there since I was born in the 1970s.”
Mike Devery said: “Like we need another over priced ‘convenience store’. I’d rather drive to Arbroath or Dundee for my shopping than pay their over inflated prices.”
Several users welcomed the economic investment in the town. Darren Adam wrote: “Why do people always moan when something positive is happening in town.
“At the end of the day the Co-op are creating jobs and in this current climate it is a welcome boost to the town and to the hard pressed people who will get the benefit of getting work.”
Fiona Burnett added: “Anything bringing new jobs to Carnoustie is a good thing! Not having to march along the other end to get fresh veg would be lovely!”
Ross Grant said: “Typical, something comes to the town that will create jobs and do something with that eyesore and people just moan about it. Would they rather it just stayed the state it was in?”
Another issue which split commentators was the absence of a petrol station on the site, some regarded as a crucial omission.
Allan Black posted: “Why oh why can’t somebody put a petrol station that would be used by the full community in this prime location?
“Fuel stations in Carnoustie were all independent and higher cost but as Arbroath and other stations nearby have proved, there are opportunities for companies such as Asda or Tesco to put small stores and fuel facilities in such locations.”
Margaret Monteith wrote: “Why do we need another Co-op when we have a Spar along that end and the other wee shop across the road? We need a petrol station and council houses in Carnoustie, not more food shops, we have enough of them.”
Pauline Wilson added: “The petrol station at Muirdrum was going to be built on good farm land next to a quiet village. What a waste and an eyesore it would have been. Rather use a site that is being regenerated. Plenty of them in Carnoustie with all the factories being demolished. The new Co-op site would be better used for housing, or a safe area for kids to hang out. That road is already too busy without adding supermarket traffic to the mix.”
Other contributors were quick to point out that previous Carnoustie-based petrol stations had not proven viable. Thelma Thornton said: “I would love to have a petrol station in Carnoustie, but it wouldn’t be used as a regular supply of fuel. We had three petrol stations in Carnoustie circa 1970 to 1990. They all closed because fuel was cheaper in Dundee or Arbroath.”
Gus Laing added: “The last petrol station wasn’t successful, why does everyone think that one going in now would be successful? It’s not like Carnoustie has tripled in size since the last one shut down because it obviously wasn’t viable. If it was, there would still be one there! Just be happy something is finally happening on a site that has sat empty for years.”