A busy local convenience store and petrol station in a residential area of Aberdeen are set to close.
The Co-op shop and filling station on Springfield Road will be shutting their doors for the final time on April 24.
The firm has not stated why the business is closing but did confirm that all staff have been found roles in alternative Co-op stores within the city.
A spokesperson for the Co-op said: “The Co-op is moving forward with a clear purpose and momentum and while this often involves opening new stores, we also regularly review our existing sites. The decision to sell any store is not taken lightly and, only after careful consideration can we confirm our Springfield Road store will close on April 24, 2021.
“Our priority has been to fully support colleagues, ensuring they all found alternative positions at Co-op.
“We would like to thank the community for its support of this store over the years.
‘Devastating blow for the community’
The store closure is a blow to local residents who have come to rely on the business over the years.
Chair of Craigiebuckler and Seafield Community Council William Sell voiced his disappointment over the decision: “The closure of the Springfield Road Co-op is a devastating blow for this community. It was a great convenience store for us. There has been a business there since the 1960s.
“I hope another similar retail shop will soon replace it.”
The Countesswells Road Co-op store remains open, meaning the community will still have a convenience shop nearby, albeit further away.
However, there is no other filling station in the area. The closest garage will now involve a journey of one-and-a-half miles to North Anderson Drive, or two miles to Garthdee.
At the moment it is not known if a new business will reopen on the site. Councillor for the area Martin Greig is keen to reiterate how important the shop and garage have been over the years: “People want to know what is happening with the future of the site,” he said. “There is a wish to retain a convenience shop at this place.”
Along with the petrol station and accompanying shop, the site is also home to Athletic Edge gym and a sizeable car park.
As of 2019, the whole plot belongs to a local firm called Esson Properties Ltd, which owns a number of similar sites around the city.
Councillor Greig has speculated that Esson Properties may be looking to develop the site, in line with the considerable building work already in the pipeline for this part of town.
“The Treetops hotel site close by has a proposal for 95 new homes,” he said, “and the Rubislaw Quarry and Pinewood/Hazledene developments are also adding a considerable amount to the local population.
“There are other possible developments nearby so there are already some serious questions being asked about all the local construction activity.”
Aberdeen City Council said it had not received any pre-application inquiries or formal planning applications for the development of any part of the Co-op site at this time.
Depute Provost Jennifer Stewart says she is “staggered” that the Co-op shop and petrol station will be closing on Springfield Road.
She said: “The real sadness for the residents is that there is no community centre and there are no facilities here, so places like the Co-op almost become a focus, to the point that people would actually meet there – whether that’s coincidentally or not.
“Whether it’s a result of the pandemic or just part of the downward trend, I don’t know. But it will be a genuine loss.
“It was always a well-stocked shop with fruit and veg and a bakery. When I think now about older people who are not able to get out to a big supermarket or go into town… where are they going to go now?
“The Co-op also offered a parcel collection service – I collect parcels there myself – so where is that service going to go?
“It makes you wonder what’s next. I’m really getting worried. I’ve always seen Co-op as the stalwart of the community really. They are an old fashioned shop that always had community at their heart, so when they start to go it is a big concern.”
Esson Properties Ltd has been contacted for comment.