Sainsbury’s should have been given the green light
I cannot emphasize how disappointed I am for the people of Motherwell at North Lanarkshire Council’s decision to block Sainsbury’s proposal to build a new superstore in Motherwell. As John Pentland MSP and Frank Roy MP have already observed, this is a very poor decision.
The reason given for vetoing the proposal was that it contravened the local strategic development plan. However, past cases have illustrated that local development plans are not set in stone; there is always room for manoeuvre. Yet, on this occasion, councillors have stuck to the rules fastidiously; in so doing, I believe they have acted against the best interests of the people of Motherwell.
What they have failed to appreciate is that a new superstore would have enhanced Motherwell’s economy, not damaged it.
It would have enticed non-residents into Motherwell, and encouraged local residents to shop locally. I live in Motherwell, yet I do my grocery shopping in Hamilton. Now I will continue to do so, as, I believe, will many others.
Not only would Sainsbury’s have brought greater choice and investment, it would have created 300 jobs. Given the current economic climate, the folly of passing that up cannot be overstated.
Sainsbury’s conducted an informative and honest campaign. They engaged with local business people, politicians and residents, and were open and transparent in all their dealings.
In stark contrast, their opponents conducted a negative campaign and misappropriated quotes from local and national politicians, including my own party leader.
Now we must look to the future. What is this land to be used for?
It can’t be used for housing. It can’t be used for retail. Is it to be used at all, or will it remain a barren wasteland