PLANS for a superstore at the entrance to a Deeside town have been given the go-ahead by councillors.
Retail giant Tesco was awarded permission to build a 45,500sqft store on the eastern edge of Banchory yesterday.
Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr area committee passed the plans unanimously, despite raising concerns over the impact on shops in the town centre.
The eco-friendly superstore at Hill of Banchory could create nearly 300 jobs in the area.
Planning officer Mairi Stewart told members the development would meet retail “deficiencies” within Banchory town centre and the wider catchment area.
Banchory councillor Karen Clark said: “It’s a huge planning application for Banchory. On that eastern entrance it will change the face of that whole gateway.
“We don’t want to end up being just another Tesco land, looking like any other town in Britain.”
Fellow member Jill Webster said: “The majority of people in Banchory want another supermarket. The town has grown considerably over the last few years but the retail facilities we have got hasn’t.”
She challenged Tesco to “show how much they care for our communities” and enter into dialogue with local business owners and increase the eco-friendly measures employed at the store.
Councillor Peter Argyle said: “As a general principle we have tried in the past to encourage supermarkets to work with local traders.
“It has never worked. That’s a very sad reflection on supermarkets.”
Tesco corporate affairs manager Jennifer Duncan said: “We welcome the council’s decision and are pleased to be able to deliver this much-needed store to Banchory.
“During our consultation we were shown great support by local people and hope that they are as pleased with this decision as we are.
“An investment of this nature will create new employment opportunities and deliver the choice, value and convenient shopping experience the community deserves.”
Members were keen to prevent large Tesco signs being installed at the top of the store. Ms Stewart told them the superstore would need to apply for permission for any signs.