LOCALS questioned the developers of a project that would bring McDonald’s and Starbucks to Huntly.
Iftikar Mian, of Aberdeen-based West Coast Estates, answered questions about potential littering issues, contribution to the local economy and transit improvements at a Huntly Community Council meeting on 16 March.
Bill Dean, Managing Director of Dean’s of Huntly, also attended the meeting, as the project is a joint venture between the developer and his company.
Dean’s, which has been in operation in Huntly for nearly 50 years, owns the land to be developed.
At the meeting, Mr Mean said the proposed Linnorie development involved £5m of investment and that a “long-term commitment, a commitment spanning decades” had already been signed.
He also claimed that the project would generate £100,000 in business rates for Aberdeenshire Council and create 100 new jobs in the area.
Along with Starbucks and McDonald’s, a superfast shipping center from Dutch company Fastned is also included in the plans.
One of the first questions he got from the community council was about a possible increase in litter around Huntly.
In response, Mr. Mian said that waste management will largely be the responsibility of the waste contractors, but that systems will be put in place to prevent problems from arising.
He said: “We are willing to go above and beyond when it comes to rubbish.
“We really understand the opinions of the local communities.
“We really understand the impact of litter, behavior and what-have-you on local communities.
“In terms of waste, it will be kept on site, but managed by the waste contractors and divided.
“There will also be people who are responsible for maintaining the land on behalf of the owner, in addition to this, the owner will be the foreman who is underway for the development.
“I’m sure they will be watching it with eagerness.”
Another question focused on how pedestrians and cyclists would cross the A96 to get to the project.
West Coast Estates said no specific plans for crossings were included because Transport Scotland would be consulted during the planning process.
A transport statement submitted to Aberdeenshire Council by the consultancy Fairhurst said the project was unlikely to increase the number of pedestrians crossing the A96.
It reads: “As stated above, the roadside development is not expected to result in any significant pedestrian movements from within Huntly, with the vast majority of customers/users accessing the roadside development by vehicle.
“This is expected for roadside development at this site.”
Mr. Mian also committed to using local contractors during the nine-month construction process.
McDonald’s is slated to be a modular building, mostly remotely constructed, while Starbucks will be built on site.
The consultation led by West Coast Estates development received 350 responses to the consultation and claimed that 70 per cent of the responses were positive.
The company has previously worked with Co-op, Sainsburys, Tesco and Starbucks.
The deadline for submitting comments is April 3, 2023.
A decision on the application is expected by May 5, 2023.
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