The development company behind plans for a retail park on North Road in Fort William were in town this weekend to reveal their latest proposals to open new stores on the brownfield site alongside the A82. Morbaine Ltd announced, at a public exhibition in the Nevis Centre, that supermarket-chain Aldi and discount store Home Bargains, are already signed up to move to the site. They are also in negotiations with other retailers interested in the remaining two units.
This brownfield site has had a chequered planning history in the last few years. In September 2010 the then Lochaber councillors opposed plans for a supermarket, with only Councillor Bill Clark supporting the proposal. And as far back as 2007, officials set restrictions that limited what types of shops could locate there, as they were worried about competition with the High Street.
No planning application has yet been submitted for the latest plans, but it is likely to come to the planning committee for a final decision later this year. What do you think? Did you go the exhibition and ask any questions? Do you think stores, like Aldi and Home Bargains, will boost the town?