Residents of an Aberdeenshire town who have repeatedly called for a bigger supermarket are furious that council planners have recommended all four proposals currently on the table are thrown out.
Rival developers will put their plans for Stonehaven forward tomorrow, but members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee are being urged to reject each one.
The recommendation has infuriated community leaders, who have dubbed Stonehaven as “Co-op town” and accused the council of not doing enough to help meet the demand of shoppers.
The Sluie Estate Trust want to build a 43,055sq ft supermarket and petrol station at New Mains of Ury, while Stewart Milne Homes have lodged plans for a store of the same size and petrol station as part of a mixed use development including 250 homes, community facilities and primary school at Mains of Cowie.
Barratt North Scotland and the Drum Development Company want to build their supermarket, which would be part of a mixed use development of up to 500 homes at Mill of Forrest, while the FM Group have proposed a 40,364ft supermarket on the Ury Estate, along with a 50-bed hotel and restaurant.
Each application will be considered separately, and in the order they were submitted.
But planners have recommended each one for approval, arguing they are “significantly contrary” to the local development plan.
Last night, Stonehaven Community Council vice-chairman Phil Mills-Bishop urged the committee to support at least one scheme to ensure shoppers were getting the best deal.
“My initial response to the council’s recommendation to reject all four proposals is that consistently the view that has been put forward by Aberdeenshire Council is that a large supermarket is not desirable for Stonehaven, but this is wrong.
“Their views do not reflect the aspirations and wishes of the community council and the residents of Stonehaven.
“The council also said a large supermarket would have devastating effects on the town centre, this is nonsense.”
There is currently no large supermarket in the Stonehaven, although there are four Co-op stores scattered around the town.
Mr Mills-Bishop added: “We are effectively being ignored whilst the council continues to protect the Co-op and retain Co-op town.”
After being considered by Kincardine and Mearns area committee, all four schemes will be referred to full council for a final decision at a later date.