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Co-op eyes burgh site

By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Co-op eyes burgh site

PROPOSALS have been officially unveiled to bring a Co-op store to Lochmaben.

At Monday’s meeting of Lochmaben Community Council, chairman Colin Davidson brought details, from Sansec Development Ltd, for a branch at the former petrol station on Bruce Street.

In a letter, Ben Harvey from Sansec explained The Cooperative Group has been looking at Lochmaben and has recognised the plot on the A709 as the prime location for a 3750sq ft shop, with off street parking.

The correspondence was read out in full at Monday’s meeting and was met with a lukewarm response from community councillors and members of the public.

Mr Davidson said: “It is good that they are attracted

to Lochmaben, but I worry about it affecting the businesses that we already have.

“My feeling is that we should make it known to the local businesses first and foremost, that Co-op is looking to come to Lochmaben.”

Angela Armstrong, a member of the public, said: “Is there room for three shops in Lochmaben?

“It would certainly affect the two other stores.”

Mr Harvey said the development would ‘bring new life to a tired site’, with all existing buildings demolished to make way for a new, single storey building.

The letter explained: “The site is level at the front with the highway but quickly falls away to Kirk Loch at the rear.

“Any new building would therefore need to be sited back from the highway to allow space for a small number of off street parking spaces, and manoeuvring of a delivery vehicle.

“A building would therefore be built up from the lower levels at the rear of the site.”

Current plans are ‘basic’ at the moment, but a representative hopes to attend the November community council meeting with more detailed proposals with feedback to be used to form a planning application.

Mr Harvey recognised the nearby residential properties and said that building heights would be limited and building materials would be ‘subtle and subservient’ to the more historic architecture.

He added: “Views from the loch are also important and we feel that any proposal would benefit from a soft landscape solution at the rear to screen the structure and maintain the feel of a more ‘natural’ environment.”

Any comments about the potential development can be sent to to Lochmaben CC Facebook page or via email to [email protected]

The group has asked responses to be sent as soon as possible.

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