A Home Bargains lorry.
Picture: Gary Anthony.
NEWS that a major national discount store has Dingwall on its shopping list has been welcomed locally. Home Bargains wants to build a new 20,000 sq ft store on a 2.5-acre site on land to the rear of St Clement's School on Tulloch Street. A planning application to Highland Council has been made by Forrest Developments Ltd.
The site is bounded by the Peffery, Lidl's store, St Clement's PS and Dingwall Community Centre, with residential properties and gardens to the east. The site already has an extensive planning history including three separate planning permissions for retail use, the most recent being granted in 2014. All three permissions have now expired.
Jack Shepherd, chairman of Dingwall Community Council: "This site is a piece of dead ground that has been un-developed for years, so it will be good to see it being used. "I canvassed the other members about the application and from their responses it seems there is a fair body of support for this development." Members of Highland Council do not usually comment on planning applications in advance of them being considered in committee.
Forrest Developments cited the good footpath network locally, but Mr Shepherd said that he hoped some money would be spent on path upgrading as soon as possible. The developer says a key consideration in the design was to create a high quality architectural development that is appropriate to the surrounding context and character of the Highland town setting. The single floor building would have cladding panels in inky black and grey hues, curtain wall glazing and "quality facing brickwork to bring warmth and soften the elevations with colour and tone to complement surrounding buildings".
Planning papers state: "The proposed plan envisages a pronounced entrance feature and processional colonnade adjacent to the access road and customer car park, providing a point of interest and presence that will orientate customers towards the store entrance.The colonnade will provide generous cover from rain and shade from solar gain along the southerly orientated frontage. " The company, started in Liverpool, employs 22,000 people and lays claim to being one of the UK's fastest growing discount retailers. Related news: Leading discount retailer Home Bargains eyes store opening in Dingwall