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Caithness News Bulletins 2006

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June 2006

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The Asda Debate
Following the planning committee decision on Monday 26 June 2006 to reject the application.
For new Asda store at Pennyland in Thurso. 
To meet the demand from our readers we have gathered all of the links to one place

Links To All Places on Caithness.org, Newspapers and the Petition Online

The Asda Application Is Called In By Scottish Executive
A Full Planning Inquiry is likely to follow. 

3 April 07
ASDA - the Argument Continues

28 September 06
ASDA Application For Pennyland In Thurso Passed By Full Planning Committee In Inverness
The outline planning application for a new ASDA store was passed today by 18 votes to 8Caithness councillors previously opposed to the store at the Pennyland site maintained their opposition at today's meeting.  They stressed that they were not against an ASDA store in Thurso but they still against it on that particular site.  The hearing and debate lasted for over two hours. 

13 August 06
The Asda Application May Be Deferred Until September
The following is taken from the Agenda for the Planning Committee of Highland Council for 16 August 2006
Head of Planning Recommends A Deferment Until September

Development Control
8. Erection of Class 1 Retail Foodstore, Petrol Filling Station, Associated Car Parking, Landscaping, Access Road and Roundabout; Servicing; Playing Field Provision and Associated Community Facilities and Car Parking in Outline at Pennyland Farm, Thurso, Caithness (06/00038/OUTCA)

At its special meeting on 26 June 2006 the Caithness Planning, Europe, Development and Tourism Committee refused Planning Permission for the above development, against the recommendation of the Director of Planning and Development.

The following Notice of Review was received:
“We wish to rescind the decision of the Caithness Area Planning Committee of 26th June to refuse Outline Planning Permission for the erection of a Class 1 foodstore, petrol filling station, associated car parking, landscaping, access road and roundabout, servicing, playing field provision and associated community facilities at Pennyland Farm, Thurso, Caithness and substitute the recommendation for approval with conditions proposed by the Area Planning Officer.

Mr A I MacDonald, Mr W N Fernie, Mr D Flear, Mr R Durham, Mr J H Green, Mr W Fulton, Mr R W Barclay, Mr D Allan.”

There is circulated Report No C-P-154-06 dated 30 May 2006 by the Director of Planning and Development, previously submitted to the special meeting of the Caithness Planning, Europe, Development and Tourism Committee on 26 June 2006, together with a draft extract from the minutes of that meeting.

There is also circulated Report No PDET-56-06  dated 8 August 2006 by the Director of Planning and Development recommending that consideration of this item be deferred until the meeting of the Committee to be held on 27 September 2006.  At that time, the application will be considered under the Hearings Procedure.

5 August 06
Asda support petition now at 2860

2 August 06
For Anyone Wanting To Support Asda Planning Application
Here is who you should write to in support of any planning application -
The Planning Application Reference for Asda is 06/0038/OUTCA
And address the letters to
Mr Iain Ewart
Caithness Planning and Building Standards Manager
The Highland Council
Market Street

2 August 06
Asda Petition at 2859 at5.35pm

19 July 06
Asda Petition At 2822 at 9.15am

10 July 06
Asda Petition At 2765 at 12.20pm

7 July 06
Asda Petition At 2725 at 9.00pm

6 July 06
Asda Petition At 2695 at 9.40am

4 July 06
Asda Petition Still Climbing As total Reaches 2607
- at 2.05pm

3 July 06
Petition Stands At 2553 As at 5.25pm

3 July 06
Asda proposal to be reconsidered - BBC

Planning and Development Councillors

30 June 06
Asda Petition Still Climbing with total Standing at 2262 at 11.00am Today
The lead story in today's John O'Groat Journal - "Silent Majority" in favour of Asda" following Thurso community council meeting.  Bob Earnshaw the vice-chairman expressed his views following the meeting where there was only one dissenting voice with the majority of the committee reiterating the views of the public expressed in many places already.  Mr Earnshaw is quoted in the JOG today saying "While I can understand the objections from the immediate residents, I feel the council through the area planning committee has failed to grasp an opportunity.  As with most planning application of this nature what is rarely heard is the silent majority who overwhelmingly support this plan"   Read today's "Groat" for the full story.

29 June 06
Councillors Submitted A Notice Of Amendment On The Asda Issue Today In Inverness
Councillors Alistair Macdonald, Bill Fernie, David Flear and John Green from Caithness were today joined by Councillors from other areas in signing the application for a Notice Of Amendment to the planning application for outline planning permission which was turned down on Monday 26 June in Thurso.  The four other councillors who signed the notice of amendment were Richard Durham, Duncan Allan, Bill Fulton and Billy Barclay.  The purpose of the Notice of Amendment is to have the decision reversed at the full planning committee in Inverness on 16 August.

29 June 06
Asda Support Petition Stands At 2172 at 10.00pm
Several threads on the Message Board continue to attract entries.

28 June 06
Asda Petition Still Climbing - 1850 at 11.15pm

27 June 06
Asda Petition Signatures Soar To Over 1200 in 24 Hours
Signatures have poured onto the Asda support petition all day.  The message board is brimming with supporters comments and views of the main thread are now over 5200 again in less than 24 hours - a new record on the web site.

27 June 06
Asda Story On Press and Journal Web Site By Ian Grant
Readers can add their own comments on this story by going to the bottom of the page.  Another chance to let Scotland know how Caithness residents feel about this.

27 June 06
Online Petition To Support Asda Application Rockets on the Petition Web Site
As at 11.10am today the numbers signing the online petition is rocketing.  350 folk have signed and numbers are growing by the minute to make this one of the fastest ever petitions seen in the far northSince last night when this all got going over 2600 people have checked out Asda thread on the Message Board where overwhelming support and disgust at the decision is being expressed.  This is one of the fastest ever growing threads on Caithness.org as it only began last night.

27 June 06
ASDA Online petition reaches 100 at 12.15am On Tuesday

Who Voted For Or Against ASDA Outline Planning Application?
As there folk still asking who voted which way on the ASDA application at the planning committee in Thurso here it is again -
Voted Against the Application -
Thurso West - Roger Saxon
Thurso Central - Donald Mackay
Thurso East -  Tom Jackson
Wick Councillor - Graeme Smith (also used his casting vote against the application)
Voted To Accept the Planning Officers Recommendation To ACCEPT the Application
Wick West - Bill Fernie
Caithness Central -
David Flear
Caithness North East -
John Green
Caithness North West -
Alistair Macdonald
Two Councillors Were Unavailable
Pulteneytown - Katrina MacNab
Caithness South East - William Mowat
The way the vote went
The vote was split 4 for and 4 against and chairman Councillor Graham Smith used his casting vote against the application.  The paper with the proposals can be found

Tesco Opens In Wick 27 November 2006
Tesco Photos 
Tesco Opening Day

The Asda Petiton Online
Sign ups have flowed into this online petition set up by a concerned Caithness citizen and not by us here at Caithness.org as reported in a number of press items.

28 September 06
Asda Debate Continues After Asda Plans Passed In Inverness

Say No To Asda

Ideal Place For Asda

5 August 06
Wot No Asda Comments
Began following story in the John O'Groat Journal about Miller Developments suggesting Asda might got the Auction Mart Site in Thurso. This was refuted by Asda immediately following publication of the story. 
Per our front page on 5 August 2006
Store Wars - Asda Strikes Back
Following the story in the John O'Groat Journal on Friday 4 August Asda have issued a statement refuting suggestions from the developer Miller Developments that they are planning to advance proposals for their new store at the former Thurso Auction Mart site.  Asda said "Statements by Miller Developments about ASDA's intentions have been made without the prior knowledge or consent of ASDA store Limited and do not represent ASDA's position"  "We have no intention of advancing our store proposals for Caithness on the former Thurso Auction Mart site.  Subject to support from the Council, ASDA's flagship entrance to the Highlands will be at Pennyland Farm, Thurso or outwith Caithness"  ASDA have instructed their lawyers to take the matter up on their behalf expressing disappointment that a commercial interest would make allegations about their intentions without their consent. 
Asda support petition now at 2860

Councillors on the full Planning Committee
Chairman Sandy Park
Vice Chair Francis Keith
Alistair MacDonald, Roger Saxon, John Green, Graeme Smith, Duncan Allan, Alan Torrance, Richard Durham, Roy MacIntyre, Ewen Mackinnon, Val MacIvor, Michael MacMillan, Billy Barclay, John Laing, William Fulton (no email) Jack Sheils, Jimmy MacDonald, Ron Lyon, Clive Goodman, Jimmy Gray, Norrie Macdonald, Liz MacDonald, Basil Dunlop, Bill Clarke, Olwyn MacDonald, Drew Mcfarlane Slack,

Message Board Threads
The Asda topic on Caithness.org is the biggest since the North Action Group campaign to prevent the downgrading of the maternity unit at Caithness General hospital.

Biggest thread on the topic
10547 viewings and 264 postings as at 3 July 06
The fastest ever grown thread on Caithness.org
222 entries from the public and as at 12.00 on 30 June over 8700 viewings

Dr E Scott MSP

Tesco vs Asda vs ?????

ideal place for asda

Planning and Development Councillors

Great News Re Asda
Starts of with reference to the Notice of Appeal lodged by councillors Alistair Macdonald, bill Fernie, David Flear and John Green plus four other highland councillors

Asda's Appeal

P & J Asda

200 Signatures For Asda already
This thread heading refers to the signatures within the first few hours of the thread beginning

Missing Councillors

Lament for Asda
Starts with poem written for the topic.

This Asda Petition

Thochts o a Caithness man
Kicks off with this thought -
Wan o e good things til come from e Asda debacle is that it shows that Caithness people are willin til stand up for whit they want. For too long those that think they know best hev telt us til be thankful fir what we've been given when in truth we've no been given very much. E good foundations started by NAG hev been carried oan wi people tellin e cooncillors whit they want in respect o Asda.

When Asda Re-apply for planning consent

Asda News Update

Do you support an Asda store in Caithness?

Dr E Scott MSP

Hints of Asda

Wick Forges Ahead On Shopping
2 July 06
Work Has Begun On The Tesco Store Site At Wick
The much anticipated start on the Tesco store at Wick has begun as a firm of fencing contractors are already hard at work even on a Saturday fencing off the whole site with a huge fence.  Diggers have moved in ready to commence work on the roads, car park and foundations.  Looks like they meant business when they said open in plenty of time for Christmas.  We will be following progress every step of the way over the next 20 weeks.  The site next to the airport and adjacent to the main road is ideally situated for people coming from across the county and even further afield.  Already the Shops on the other side of Wick are attracting shopper from a long way off in Sutherland and Orkney.  The new Tesco will mean that Wick will in less than a year have become nearer to being the shopping capital of the north.  Two shops remain available the Homebase complex but they are not expected to remain empty for long.

Continental Market At Wick In May 2006

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Opened At Wick 27 May 2006
Argos Opened At Wick On 4 May 2006
Homebase Opened at Wick April 2006
SuperDrug Opened At Wick April 2006
New Look Opened At Wick 29 April 2006

Antiques Shop To Open In Wick At Previous Hardware Shop In Bridge Street, Wick
Takeaway To Open At Former Mackays Butchers In Wick
Secrets Lingerie Moves To Former Flower Shop in Dempster Street, Wick

Down Side
Music shops closed in Wick and Thurso