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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Local MP & MSP Comment on Banff Tesco Announcement

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford and local MSP Stewart Stevenson have reacted to today’s announcement from Tesco on its intention to no longer develop the Canal Park site at Banff.

Click for STV story on Tesco plans across Scotland
The supermarket giant cited its recent poor business performance as the reason for cancelling 49 planned new stores in the UK, including the store earmarked for Banff.

Local MP Eilidh Whiteford will be meeting with the Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council on Monday to discuss the full implications of the announcement by Tesco that it will cancel its commitment to build a new store in Banff.

Commenting on the announcement, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

"Tesco's announcement that it is cancelling plans for a new store in Banff will doubtlessly be viewed by local folk as a frustrating and disappointing conclusion to a saga that has rumbled on for a number of years.

"I have today sought an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of the local council to discuss the full range of implications of this decision for the local community and the development of sports and recreation facilities in Banff and Macduff, which were an integral part of this plan.”

Today’s announcement comes almost exactly 10 years after local MSP Stewart Stevenson held a referendum on the then controversial proposals by Tesco to build on Canal Park. The referendum, which was conducted by post and had a 66% turnout, resulted in a 65%-35% vote in favour of allowing Tesco to proceed on the basis that money from the sale of the land would be used to fund sports and recreation facilities.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“Tesco have been working on this development for over 10 years. Even with a clear indication of the support within the community to proceed it has taken an inordinate length of time to get to the position last year where designs for the new sports facilities were being consulted upon.

“The issue here is not so much that people want to see a huge supermarket on the outskirts of Banff but is about just wanting the eyesore which is currently there to be developed and also not holding back the provision of much-needed enhanced sporting and recreation facilities for Banff and Macduff.

“I will be contacting Tesco’s senior management on this as a matter of urgency as I do not want to see Canal Park and the associated buildings left in their current position for another 10 years."

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