A developer behind a new £10 million shop proposal says it “makes no sense” for Dundee to spurn the opportunity.
Plans to create four new units on the site of the former NCR factory at Myrekirk retail park, east of Myrekirk Road, go before planning committee members on Monday night.
The plans propose to bring Food Warehouse – which is owned by Iceland Foods and would be the first to open in Dundee – and Home Bargains into two of the three retail premises, with a coffee shop taking up the food and drink outlet.
However, planning officers recommend refusal, because the proposal does not align with town centre first principles protecting footfall in major retail areas.
The report also warned the Covid-19 pandemic had left town centre retailers struggling.
However, Blair Morrison of Marketgait Developments – which is owned by the James Keiller Group – said he had invested two and half years’ work in developing options for the gap site between Asda and Aldi.
“We hope that common sense prevails, that a £10m investment in Dundee just now is a good thing,” he said.
“We were promoting this site way before Covid-19 as a natural finish for that existing commercial centre.”
A report going before committee states 50 jobs would be created if the proposal were to go ahead, but would likely result in the loss of 50 jobs elsewhere.
However, Blair disputed both the figure and the logic.
“Another 1,000 houses are to be built in that area, and local residents are not going to drive to Lochee,” he said.
“Home Bargains would create 75 full and part-time jobs, Iceland 50 jobs and there would be an additional 40 jobs created between the coffee shop and bakery.
“Planners had recommended refusal for Asda and they also overturned Aldi, yet they are such a fantastic addition to that end of town.
“In the last five years we’ve seen a western expansion of Dundee – it’s already a commercial centre.
“The town centre first principle is subjective at the end of the day.
“Is there a Home Bargains in the Dundee west catchment area? No.”
He added: ”Home Bargains has made a commitment to go from 500 stores across the UK to 1,000 stores in the next five years – and that’s good news in the market place at the moment. Dundee needs it.”
The Scottish Government Reporter had zoned the area as white land, meaning every proposal for the area had to be judged on its own merits, Mr Morrison said.
He added: “What also do they (Dundee City Council) think would be more appropriate for that site?“
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “The application will be considered by the planning committee at its meeting on Monday.”