The Co-op store in Duns’ Newtown Street will remain the only store the company will have in the town, certainly in the immediate future.
Last week Scottish Borders Council planners used delegated powers to refuse planning permission for the Co-op’s plans to build a new larger store on the outskirts of Duns at Langton Gate because of its impact on Duns town centre and substandard design.
In the decision notice SBC’s service director for regulatory services said: “The development of a new class 1 retail unit at an out of centre location would have an unacceptable and detrimental impact on the vitality and viability of Duns town centre.
“The erection of a class 1 retail store on this site would reduce footfall in the town centre and exacerbate retail leakage to other centres.
“It is contrary to the Local Plan in that the design of the proposed access and parking area is substandard. The proposed class 1 retail unit and associated access and parking arrangements would not comply with current standards and would represent a hazard to both vehicle and pedestrian safety.”
A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food said: “We are understandably disappointed not to get planning permission for a new store in Langtongate, Duns. We will now take some time to consider our options.”
When they first announced their plans for the new store at Duns, Chris Beebe, planning manager for The Co-operative Estates in Scotland, said: “The location is ideal for us, and we are very confident the new store will be an asset to the area.”
However, SBC planning official and a number of local people saw it differently and believed that its location could have a negative impact on Duns town centre.