Peterhead Councillor Urges Aldi "Develop Kirkburn Or Step Aside"

>> 3 April 2012


A Peterhead councillor has urged Aldi Stores to move forward with plans to develop the Kirkburn site or step aside in order that an alternative investor can be found.

Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith wrote to the Chief Executive of Aldi Stores in February taking the company to task for the condition of the site and urging them to consider putting it on the market if there were no immediate plans to develop it.  In his letter, Cllr Smith said:

“I can understand why businesses are reluctant to invest in new sites in the present financial climate.  However, there is no excuse for allowing the Kirkburn Mills site to descend into an eyesore.

“I should therefore be grateful for an indication from you that Aldi remains committed to developing the site.  Alternatively, should your company have no immediate plans to bring forward development, then I would urge you to consider putting the site on the market in order that some other developer may be found for this prime location.”

Aldi’s Property Director Graham Nicolson responded to Cllr Smith stating that the company had been reviewing options and is in the process of finalising their decision.  Mr Nicolson said the company was keen to ensure it explores every avenue, which may include disposal of the land and was aiming to reach a decision by the end of April at the latest.

Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“This means that we should have some certainty regarding Aldi’s intentions for the site in the next few weeks.

“If Aldi decides that they want to develop the site then that would be good news so long as they do so in the foreseeable future.  The site has already lain vacant for far too long.

“Alternatively, if Aldi decide they want to put the site on the market then that allows the opportunity for some other developer to come forward with plans.  We already know that Sainsbury’s are said to be interested in Peterhead for example.

“At the end of the day, this is a prime site on the edge of the town centre and it is not doing the town any good for it to be left as it is.  Whatever Aldi’s decision, we need to move forward on this sooner rather than later.”

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