Supermarket chain lodges plans to demolish local landmark
FEARS have been voiced that local traders could suffer if plans to close the only petrol station in Melrose are given the green light.
The Co-Operative Group has applied to Scottish Borders Council for planning permission to partially demolish St Dunstans Garage and build a new 561 square metre food store on the site.
It is understood the new building will replace the supermarket chain's existing store on the opposite side of the High Street in Melrose.
Community councillor Tom Douglas said: "The big worry is that if motorists are forced rto travel outwith Melrose to get their fuel that they may do their shopping elsewhere in future.
"It wouldn't be cataclysmic but it could impact on local shopkeepers who are already struggling. We have seen a number of businesses in the area close in recent times and we wouldn't want another gap site left in our High Street."
But he added: "It's a shame that Melrose no longer has an active traders association."
As well as local landscaping, the plans also include the creation of 30 car parking spaces, as well as two disabled bays, in addition to nine staff parking spaces.
It is proposed the existing access points to the site would be maintained, with traffic entering from the High Street and exiting onto St Dunstan's Park.
A spokesperson for The Co-operative said: "We can confirm that we have submitted a Premises Licence application to convert the old garage on the High Street in Melrose into a Co-operative Food store. We hope to be able to provide people with a pleasant and convenient shopping experience, with excellent customer service."
This article appeared in Border Telegraph 25 Sep 12
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