Vil­lagers make boy­cott threat

Res­i­dents an­gry at Co-op’ s re­fusal to ad­dress traf­fic con­cerns near pro­posed site

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID MACKAY

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

Jim Mackie

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