STORE operators in Motherwell should hear soon whether they will have to face competition from a giant supermarket.
Scottish Government ministers have given themselves a deadline of 5 August to decide whether or not to grant Sainsbury’s appeal against refusal of planning permission for a huge supermarket at Tinkers Lane in Motherwell.
But Holyrood has warned that in around a fifth of similar cases the deadlines slip by a month.
That would mean the decision day for the proposed giant Sainsbury’s should be no later than 5 September.
North Lanarkshire Council refused planning permission for Sainsbury’s development last September on the grounds that it was contrary to planning policy and would have an adverse effect on the vitality and viability of Motherwell town centre.
Sainsbury’s appealed that decision.
Now the Scottish Government which called in the case has announced the deadline for Scottish planning minister Derek Mackay to give his verdict on whether the development goes ahead or not.
The decision may be influenced by the report of the government’s Town Centre Review Group which was expected as this issue of Scottish Grocer went to press.
Some observers expect the Town Centre Group’s findings to champion a town-centres-first policy.
William Gear, director of Chester Properties which operates Motherwell Town Centre said: “We are delighted to have a hard and fast timescale for a decision on this crucial matter.”