Villagers make boycott threat
Residents angry at Co-op’ s refusal to address traffic concerns near proposed site
Villagers have threatened to boycott a new convenience store over claims the firm has “ignored” residents over road safety fears.
The Co-op plans to open the new £500,000 store on the site of the Moray village’s pub.
Campaigners have threatened to boycott a new convenience store in a Moray village over claims the firm has “ignored” residents.
The Co-op plans to open a shop in Lhanbryde next summer on the site of the Tennant Arms.
Approval has already been granted to knock the 19th-century landmark down so it can be rebuilt as the home for the food outlet.
However, residents in the village have vowed not to set foot in the new £500,000 store after claiming the Co-op has ignored their road safety concerns about construction.
Jim Mackie, secretary of Innes Community Council, said: “The way they are treating the village has really annoyed a lot of people.
“We’ve invited the Co-op to come to our meetings to talk about it but it’s been clear they are just not interested.
“When they refurbished their store in Fochabers there was a big fence outside the front for more than a year. I don’t know how you would get away with that at the Tennant Arms without closing the road.
“We’ve told them what’s going to happen and it’s a busy road but they’re not interested. The feeling now with a lot of people is they will just boycott it.”
Mr Mackie suggested alternative sites on Robertson Road in the village would be a more suitable location for the firm to open.
Moray MP Douglas Ross has urged the Co-op to reconsider knocking down the much-loved Tennant Arms due to the strength of feeling in Lhanbryde.
The proposals were discussed at the most recent meeting of Innes Community Council.
Mr Mackie added: “It’s not going away, people are still very angry about it.”
The firm has attempted to reassure protesters that the new building will be similar in design to the current structure, which was built in 1854. The retailer did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.
A spokesman for the company has previously stated its vision for the site, which is expected to create 15 jobs, shows its commitment to the area.
“The way they are treating the village has really annoyed people”
HISTORIC: The Co-op plan to build a new store on the site of the Tennant Arms which is due to be demolished