Banchory to welcome big names after new retail park approved

Plans for a new retail park on the outskirts of Banchory have been given the go-ahead.
The new retail park has been approved.The new retail park has been approved.
The new retail park has been approved.

Banchory Estates Ltd had applied to Aberdeenshire Council seeking permission to build three retail units and a drive-thru cafe on land behind the town’s Tesco store.

It is anticipated that the development will bring Lidl, Home Bargains, Starbucks and M&S Food to Banchory.

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Electric vehicle charging points are also expected to be installed on the site.

Council planners had recommended the proposal be approved, stating its layout, siting and design was “appropriate”.

But 15 local residents wrote to the local authority to object to the plan, while seven gave it their support.

Those opposing the plan had concerns it would take vital business away from town centre, while some suggested vacant units on the town be considered instead.

Meanwhile, there was also a worry that having a retail park on the edge of town would have a negative impact on the Royal Deeside tourism gateway.

Others said an increase in traffic would lead to road safety concerns while some believed there would be a rise in litter.

But those who supported it welcomed the new shops and jobs, and said it could attract other developments to Banchory.

The application was considered by the Marr area committee last week.

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Banchory and Mid-Deeside councillor Eileen Durno backed the development.

She said: “There is a perception that Banchory has always been left behind.

“People travel to Westhill, Inverurie and into Aberdeen to use stores such as these that are possibly coming here.

“The drive-thru is offering something different and hopefully won’t have too big an impact on the high street coffee shops which are a destination point.

“People use the coffee shops to meet up with friends and family.”

She added: “I don’t think the community would be very forgiving if we were to refuse this.”

Meanwhile councillor Ann Ross believed the whole Deeside corridor would benefit from the retail park.

The committee then unanimously agreed to approve the application.