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Co-op reveals more burgh store details

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Co-op reveals more burgh store details

FURTHER details of proposals for a Co-operative store in Lochmaben were shared with the community this week.

Ben Harvey, of Sansec Developments, attended Monday’s meeting of Lochmaben Community Council to answer further questions, report back on issues raised previously and shared drawings prepared for the Bruce Street site, pictured.

A small number of residents attended, but none of the local shopkeepers, and put questions to Ben, along with members of the community council.

It was revealed that the average basket spend is forecast to be £19, and the Co-op’s desire to open in Lochmaben is due to the ‘significant spend’ at larger stores nearby, such as Tesco in Lockerbie.

There are also set to be up to 18 new jobs created, an increase on the originally projected 15.

Ben said: “I know that there is is always a concern about the impact on smaller local businesses, but I can tell you that there are instances where it has helped local businesses.

“It drives people in to the community and also encourages diversification.”

And he added: “It’s what is known as the ‘halo effect’ where people are more likely to stay in one place for their shopping, go on to the other shops nearby, rather than elsewhere.”

One of the hot topics was road safety, and Ben was able to show drawings detailing a pedestrian crossing further up the hill towards the High Street, and a proposed bell-mouth junction at the site, which would have improved visibility compared to the existing set up.

He said: “I was quite surprised the highways officer didn’t make mention of safety outwith the site.

“But we have identified a location for a crossing that is the safest position but is still close for the shop.”

Commenting, a member of the public said: “My concern is, and I’m not in favour of this at all, if you manage to get a crossing at that point, have you taken into account the backing up of lorries and cars round this building?

“The effect of 40 tonnes of lorries and trailers is significant.”

And Tony Hancock, former member of Lochmaben Community Council, pointed out that on the last traffic survey there were an average of 8400 vehicle movements in the royal burgh each day and half of those are HGVs.

Information has been subnimtted to Dumfries and Galloway Council and the technical aspects have been ‘broadly accepted’.