Plans to build a new Morrisons supermarket in Banff’s Canal Park are going to public consultation.
The shopping giant was named as the preferred bidder for land at Canal Park in the town, with a new store and other facilities earmarked for the site.
However, a large portion of the area is common good land and the communities of Banff, Macduff and the surrounding area must first be consulted on selling it off.
If they give permission, Aberdeenshire Council has to go to court to be permitted to sell it to Morrisons.
The development would involve the creation of a supermarket, cafe, filling station, and parking on land at Canal Park/Old Market Place.
It would mean changing the use of the land, which currently features a grass football pitch, pavilion, the former Bridge Street Community Centre and three redundant tennis courts, and a basketball court.
The project lies to the west of Deveron Bridge and the adjacent Princess Royal Park does not form part of the project.
Canal Park was used by junior football side Deveronside and welfare team Banff Rovers.
It was marketed by the council in 2019 as they wanted to bring it into use as a retail premises.
A deal was struck with Tesco in 2015, but fell through.
The consultation is now open and will run until Wednesday, June 30 and a virtual exhibition space has been created.
As well as documents, the consultation has images, a video slideshow and other information about the common good process and how views can be shared.
It can be accessed here.
Those who do not have access to the internet can request a paper copy of the consultation documents by contacting the Banff and Buchan Area Office on 01467 530700.
Comments can also be emailed here.
‘Keen to hear from all sections of the community’
Acting Banff and Buchan area manager David MacLennan said: “We’re pleased to be at a stage where we can invite people to comment on the proposed development at Canal Park.
“As we’re not able to hold public meetings at the moment, the virtual space has been designed to give the feeling of an exhibition you might find in a local hall. It has all the information people would expect to find and is easy to navigate.
“We’re keen to hear from all sections of the community, from individuals to local groups, and we look forward to hearing people’s thoughts on the proposals.”
Once the consultation has ended, the views collected will be shared with the Banff and Buchan Area Committee.
They will then decide whether or not to support the sale of the land and to take it to court.
Proceeds from selling the land would be handed to the council’s Common Good Fund, which is used to benefit the wider Banff and Macduff community.